Table of Contents
Chap. 3 – Selling the Birthright
Chap. 7 – Neglect of Health Reform
Chap. 9 – Everyday Religion
Chap. 16 – Look to Jesus
Chap. 17 – Separation From the World
Chap. 20 – Neglect of Hannah More
Chap. 21 – Prayer for the Sick
Chap. 24 – Oppressing the Hireling
Chap. 28 – Worldliness in the Church
Chap. 37 – Severity in Family Government
Chap. 38 – A Birthday Letter
Chap. 41 – True Conversion
Chap. 50 – Appeal to Ministers
Chap. 51 – Moral Pollution
Chapter 52 – Christian Temperance
Chap. 59 – An Appeal to the Church
Chap. 62 – Exercise and Air
Chap. 73 – An Impressive Dream
Chap. 74 – Our Camp Meetings
Chap. 75 – A Solemn Dream
Chap. 76 – Manners and Dress of Ministers
Chap. 78 – The Cause in Vermont
Chap. 80 – No Probation After Christ Comes

Chap. 3 – Selling the Birthright

Dear Brother D: I have been designing to write to you for some time, but our labors have been so constant and wearing that I have had no time nor strength to do so. In my last vision your case was shown me. You were in a

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critical condition. You knew the truth, you understood your duty, and you had rejoiced in the light of the truth; but because it interfered with your worldly pursuits, you were about to sacrifice truth and duty to your own convenience. You were looking at your own present pecuniary advantage and losing sight of the eternal weight of glory. You were about to make an immense sacrifice for the flattering prospect of present gain. You were just upon the point of selling your birthright for a mess of pottage. Had you turned from the truth for earthly gain, it would not have been a sin of ignorance on your part, but a willful transgression. {2T 37.3}

Esau lusted for a favorite dish, and sacrificed his birthright to gratify appetite. After his lustful appetite had been gratified he saw his folly, but found no space for repentance though he sought it carefully and with tears. There are very many who are like Esau. He represents a class who have a special, valuable blessing within their reach,–the immortal inheritance, life that is as enduring as the life of God, the Creator of the universe, happiness immeasurable, and an eternal weight of glory,–but who have so long indulged their appetites, passions, and inclinations, that their power to discern and appreciate the value of eternal things is weakened. {2T 38.1}

Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had so long gratified self that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, making no special effort to restrain his appetite, until the power of appetite bore down every other consideration and controlled him, and he imagined that he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness. He thought, If I now sell it, I can easily buy it back. He bartered it away

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for a favorite dish, flattering himself that he could dispose of it at will and buy it back at pleasure. But when he sought to buy it back, even at a great sacrifice on his part, he was not able to do so. He then bitterly repented his rashness, his folly, his madness. He looked the matter over on every side. He sought for repentance carefully and with tears, but it was all in vain. He had despised the blessing, and the Lord removed it from him forever. You have thought that if you should sacrifice the truth now, and go on i n a course of open transgression and disobedience, you would not break over all restraint and become reckless, and if you should be disappointed in your hopes and expectations of worldly gain you could again interest yourself in the truth and become a candidate for everlasting life. But you have deceived yourself in this matter. Had you sacrificed the truth for worldly gain, it would have been at the expense of life everlasting. {2T 38.2}

Under the parable of a great supper, our Saviour shows that many will choose the world above Himself, and will, as the result, lose heaven. The gracious invitation of our Saviour was slighted. He had been to the trouble and expense to make great preparation at an immense sacrifice. Then he sent his invitation; but “they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” The lord then turns from the wealthy and world-loving, whose lands and oxen and wives were of so great value in their estimation as to outweigh the advantages they would gain by accepting the gracious invitation he had given them to eat of his supper. The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who have thus insulted his bounty

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offered them, and he invites a class who are not full, who are not in possession of lands and houses, but who are poor and hungry, who are maimed and halt and blind, and who will appreciate the bounties provided, and in return will render the master sincere gratitude, unfeigned love and devotion. {2T 39.1}

Still there is room. The command is then given: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Here is a class rejected of God because they despised the invitation of the Master. The Lord declared to Eli: “Them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” Says Christ: “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” God will not be trifled with. If those who have the light reject it, or neglect to follow it out, it will become darkness to them. {2T 40.1}

An immense sacrifice was made on the part of God’s dear Son, that He might have power to rescue fallen man and exalt him to His own right hand, make him an heir of the world and a possessor of the eternal weight of glory. Language fails to express the value of the immortal inheritance. The glory, riches, and honor offered by the Son of God are of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of their worth, their excellence, their magnificence. If men, plunged in sin and degradation, refuse these heavenly benefits, refuse a life of obedience, trample upon the gracious invitations of mercy, and choose the paltry things of earth because they are seen, and it is convenient for their present enjoyment to pursue a course of sin, Jesus will carry out the figure in the parable; such shall not taste of His glory, but the invitation will be extended to another class. {2T 40.2}

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Those who choose to make excuses and continue in sin and conformity to the world will be left to their idols. There will be a day when they will not beg to be excused, when not one will wish to be excused. When Christ shall come in His glory and the glory of His Father, with all the heavenly angels surrounding Him, escorting Him on His way with voices of triumph, while strains of the most enchanting music fall upon the ear, all will then be interested; there will not be one indifferent spectator. Speculations will not then engross the soul. The miser’s piles of gold, which have feasted his eyes, are no more attractive. The palaces which the proud men of earth have erected, and which have been their idols, are turned from with loathing and disgust. No one pleads his lands, his oxen, his wife that he has just married, as a reason why he should be excused from sharing the glory that bursts upon his astonished vision. All want a share, but know that it is not for them. {2T 41.1}

In earnest, agonizing prayer they call for God to pass them not by. The kings, the mighty men, the lofty, the proud, the mean man, alike bow together under a pressure of woe, desolation, misery inexpressible; heart-anguished prayers are wrung from their lips. Mercy! mercy! Save us from the wrath of an offended God! A voice answers them with terrible distinctness, sternness, and majesty: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” {2T 41.2}

Then kings and nobles, the mighty man, and the poor man, and the mean man, alike, cry there most bitterly. They who in the days of their prosperity despised Christ and the humble ones who followed in His footsteps, men who would not humble their dignity to bow to Christ, who hated His despised cross, are now prostrate in the mire of the earth.

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Their greatness has all at once left them, and they do not hesitate to bow to the earth at the feet of the saints. They then realize with terrible bitterness that they are eating the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. In their supposed wisdom they turned away from the high, eternal reward, rejected the heavenly inducement, for earthly gain. The glitter and tinsel of earth fascinated them, and in their supposed wisdom they became fools. They exulted in their worldly prosperity as though their worldly advantages were so great that they could through them be recommended to God, and thus secure heaven. {2T 41.3}

Money was power among the foolish of earth, and money was their god; but their very prosperity has destroyed them. They became fools in the eyes of God and His heavenly angels, while men of worldly ambition thought them wise. Now their supposed wisdom is all foolishness, and their prosperity their destruction. Again ring forth shrieks of fearful, heart-rending anguish: “Rocks and mountains, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” To the caves of the earth they flee as a covert, but these fail to be such then. {2T 42.1}

Dear brother, life or death is before you. Do you know why your steps have faltered? why you did not persevere with courage and firmness? You have a violated conscience. Your business career has not been straightforward. You have something to do here. Your father did not look upon business principles in the correct light. You regard them as do worldlings in general, but not as God regards them. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Have you done this? “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.” If this commandment is obeyed, it prepares the heart to obey

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the second, which is like unto it: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” All the Ten Commandments are embodied in the two specified. The first includes the first four commandments, which show the duty of man to his Creator. The second embraces the last six, which show the duty of man to his fellow man. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. They are two great arms sustaining all ten of the commandments, the first four and the last six. These must be strictly obeyed. {2T 42.2}

“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Very many who profess to be Christ’s disciples will apparently pass along smoothly in this world, and will be regarded as upright, godly men, when they have a plague spot at the core, which taints their whole character and corrupts their religious experience. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This forbids us to take advantage of our fellow men in order to advantage ourselves. We are forbidden to wrong our neighbor in anything. We should not view the matter from the worldling’s standpoint. To deal with our fellow men in every instance just as we should wish them to deal with us is a rule which we should apply to ourselves practically. God’s laws are to be obeyed to the letter. In all our intercourse and deal with our fellow men, whether believers or unbelievers, this rule is to be applied: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” {2T 43.1}

Here many who profess to be Christians will not bear the measurement of God; when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, they will be found wanting. Dear brother, “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” What a promise is this! But we are not to lose sight of the fact that it is based upon obedience to the command. God calls you to separate from the world. You are not to follow their practices, nor

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conform to them in your course of action in any respect. “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” {2T 43.2}

God calls for separation from the world. Will you obey? Will you come out from among them, and remain separate and distinct from them? “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” You cannot mingle with worldlings, and partake of their spirit, and follow their example, and be at the same time a child of God. The Creator of the universe addresses you as an affectionate Father. If you separate from the world in your affections, and remain free from its contamination, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust, God will be your Father, He will adopt you into His family, and you will be His heir. In place of the world, He will give you, for a life of obedience, the kingdom under the whole heavens. He will give you an eternal weight of glory and a life that is as enduring as eternity. {2T 44.1}

Your heavenly Father proposes to make you a member of the royal family, that through His exceeding great and precious promises you may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The more you partake of the character of the pure, sinless angels, and of Christ your Redeemer, the more vividly will you bear the impress of the divine, and the more faint will be the resemblance to the world. The world and Christ are at variance, because the world will not be in union with Christ. The world will also be at variance with Christ’s followers. In the prayer of our Saviour to His Father, He says: “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not o f the world.” {2T 44.2}

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Your calling is a high, an elevated one, to glorify God in your body and spirit, which are His. You are not to measure yourself by others. The word of God has presented you an unerring pattern, a faultless example. You have dreaded the cross. It is an inconvenient instrument to lift, and because it is covered with reproach and shame, you have shunned it. You need to carry out the health reform in your life; to deny yourself, and eat and drink to the glory of God. Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. You need to practice temperance in all things. Here is a cross which you have shunned. To confine yourself to a simple diet, which will preserve you in the best condition of health, is a task to you. Had you lived up to the light which Heaven has permitted to shine upon your pathway, much suffering might have been saved your family. Your own course of action has brought the sure result. While you continue in this course, God will not come into your family and especially bless you and work a miracle to save your family from suffering. A plain diet, free from spices and flesh meats and grease of all kinds, would prove a blessing to you and would save your wife a great amount of suffering, grief, and despondency. {2T 45.1}

You have not pursued a course which would assure to you the blessing of God. If you would have His blessing attend you, and His presence abide in your family, you must obey Him, doing His will irrespective of losses or gains or your own pleasure. You are not to consult your desires, nor the approbation of worldlings who know not God and seek not to glorify Him. If you walk contrary unto God, He will walk contrary unto you. If you have other gods before the Lord, your heart will be turned away from serving the only true and living God, who requires the whole heart, the undivided affections. All the heart, all the soul, all the mind, and all the strength, does God require. He will accept of

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nothing short of this. No separation is allowed here; no half-hearted work will be accepted. {2T 45.2}

In order to render to God perfect service, you must have clear conceptions of His requirements. You should use the most simple food, prepared in the most simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not weakened, benumbed, or paralyzed, making it impossible for you to discern sacred things, and to value the atonement, the cleansing blood of Christ, as of priceless worth. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” {2T 46.1}

If men, for no higher object than a wreath or perishable crown as a reward of their ambition, subjected themselves to temperance in all things, how much more should those be willing to practice self-denial who profess to be seeking, not only a crown of immortal glory, but a life which is to endure as long as the throne of Jehovah, and riches that are eternal, honors which are imperishable, an eternal weight of glory. Will not the inducements presented before those who are running in the Christian race lead them to practice self-denial and temperance in all things, that they may keep their animal propensities in subjection, keep under the body, and control the appetite and lustful passions? Then can they be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. {2T 46.2}

If the exceeding precious and glorious reward promised will not lead us to welcome greater privations and endure greater self-denial than are cheerfully borne by worldly men

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who are seeking merely a bauble of earth, a perishable laurel which brings honors from a few of the worldly, and hate from more, we are unworthy of everlasting life. In the earnestness and intensity of our zeal, perseverance, courage, energy, self-denial, and sacrifice we should as much excel those who are engaged in any other enterprise as the object we are seeking to attain is of higher value than theirs. The treasure we are seeking is imperishable, eternal, immortal, all overglorious; while that of which the worldling is in pursuit, endures but a day; it is fading, perishable, fleeting as the morning cloud. {2T 46.3}

The cross, the cross; lift it, Brother D, and in the act of raising it you will be astonished to find that it raises you, it supports you. In adversity, privation, and sorrow it will be a strength and a staff to you. You will find it all hung with mercy, compassion, sympathy, and inexpressible love. It will prove to you a pledge of immortality. May you be able to say with Paul: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” {2T 47.1}

The Spirit of the Lord has been striving with your wife for some time. If you would yield all to God, she would have strength to take her position to seek to live out the truth. If you choose to turn from the truth, you will not go down alone; you will not only lose your own soul, but will be the means of turning others out of the way, and the blood of souls will be on your garments. Had you maintained your integrity, your mother, your brother E, and one who now hovers over the brink of the grave, might now be enjoying the consolation of the Spirit of God and have a good experience in the truth. Ever bear in mind that we are accountable for the influence we exert. Our influence gathers with Christ or scatters abroad. We are either helping souls in the narrow path of holiness or we are a hindrance, a stumbling block to

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them, turning them out of the way. You, my much-esteemed brother, have no time to lose. Be in earnest to redeem the time, because the days are evil. Your associates, those whose company you have chosen, have been a hindrance to you. Come out from among them, and be separate. Draw near to God, and come into closer union with His people. Let your interest and your affections center in Christ and His followers. Love those best who love Christ most. Sever the links which have bound you to those who love not God and the truth. What communion hath light with darkness? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? {2T 47.2}

You are in imminent danger of making shipwreck of faith. You need all the strength which you can obtain from the people of God, those who possess hope, courage, and faith. But do not neglect prayer, secret prayer. Be instant in prayer; encourage a spirit of true devotion. In your business career you have a work to do. Just what, I am unable to tell you; but something is wrong. Search carefully. We are doing up work for eternity. All our acts, all our words, are to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. A just and impartial God is to determine all our cases, every event of our life history. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” {2T 48.1}

Let nothing obstruct your progress in the way to everlasting life. Your eternal interest is at stake. There must be a thorough work wrought in you. You must be fully converted, or you will fail of heaven. But Jesus invites you to make Him your strength, your support. He will be to you a present help in every time of need. He will be to you as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Let it not be your great anxiety to succeed in this world, but let the burden of your soul be: How shall I secure the better world? what have I to do to be saved?

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In saving your own soul, you save others. In lifting yourself, you lift others. In fastening your grasp upon the truth and upon the throne of God, you aid others to fix their trembling faith upon His promises and His eternal throne. The position you must come into is to value salvation dearer than earthly gain, to count everything but loss that you may win Christ. The consecration on your part must be entire. God will admit of no reserve, of no divided sacrifice; you can cherish no idol. You must die to self and to the world. Renew your consecration to God daily. Everlasting life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. {2T 48.2}

I was shown that your brother had been convinced of the truth for some time, but influences had held him back. His wife had hindered him from obeying his convictions. But in her affliction she sought the Lord, and He was found of her. Then she felt an anxiety that her husband should embrace the truth; she repented that she had opposed him, that her pride and love of the world had so long kept him from receiving the truth. Like a weary child in search of rest but unable to obtain it, she at length complied with the gracious invitation: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Her weary, burdened soul sought her Lord, and with repentance, humiliation, and earnest prayer she cast her burden upon the great Burden Bearer, and in Him found rest; she received the evidence that her humiliation and earnest repentance were accepted of God, and that for Christ’s sake He had forgiven her sins. {2T 49.1}

I was shown, Brother D, that you have but a short time to work. Do up your work thoroughly, redeem the time. In your business transactions let not a blot tarnish your Christian character. Keep your garments unspotted from the world. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. Temptations may be all around you, but you are not compelled to enter

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into them. You may obtain strength from Christ to stand unsullied amid the pollutions of this corrupt age. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Keep the eye steadily fixed upon Christ, upon the divine image. Imitate His spotless life, and you will be a partaker of His glory, and with Him inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. {2T 49.2}

Chap. 7 – Neglect of Health Reform

Dear Brother and Sister I: The Lord has shown some things in regard to you which I feel it a duty to write. You

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were among the number who were presented before me as backward in health reform. Light has shone upon the pathway in which the people of God are traveling, yet all do not walk in the light and follow as fast as the providence of God marks out and opens the way before them. Until they do this, they will be in darkness. If God has spoken to His people, He designs that they shall hear and obey His voice. Last Sabbath, as I was speaking, your pale faces rose distinctly before me as I had been shown them. I saw your condition of health and the ailments you have suffered under so long. I was shown that you have not lived healthfully. Your appetites have been unhealthy, and you have gratified the taste at the expense of the stomach. You have taken into your stomachs articles which it is impossible to convert into good blood. This has laid a heavy tax on the liver, for the reason that the digestive organs are deranged. You both have diseased livers. The health reform would be a great benefit to you both if you would strictly carry it out. This you have failed to do. Your appetites are morbid, and because you do not relish a plain, simple diet, composed of unbolted wheat flour, vegetables and fruits prepared without spices or grease, you are continually transgressing the laws which God has established in your system. While you do this you must suffer the penalty, for to every transgression is affixed a penalty. Yet you wonder at your continued poor health. {2T 66.2}

Be assured that God will not work a miracle to save you from the result of your own course of action. You have not had a liberal supply of air. Brother I has labored in his store, closely applying himself to his business and allowing himself but a limited amount of air and exercise. His circulation is depressed. He breathes only from the top of his lungs. It is seldom that he exercises the abdominal muscles in the act of breathing. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for

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the want of deep, full inspirations of air, which would electrify the blood and impart to it a bright, lively color, and which alone can keep it pure and give tone and vigor to every part of the living machinery. {2T 67.1}

You, my dear brother and sister, can have a much better condition of health than you now enjoy, and can avoid very many ill turns, if you will simply exercise temperance in all things–temperance in labor, temperance in eating and drinking. Hot drinks are debilitating to the stomach. Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach.Fine-flour bread cannot impart to the system the nourishment that you will find in the unbolted wheat bread. The common use of bolted wheat bread cannot keep the system in a healthy condition. You both have inactive livers. The use of fine flour aggravates the difficulties under which you are laboring. {2T 68.1}

There is no treatment which can relieve you of your present difficulties while you eat and drink as you do. You can do that for yourselves which the most experienced physician can never do. Regulate your diet. In order to gratify the taste, you frequently place a severe tax upon your digestive organs by receiving into the stomach food which is not the most healthful, and at times in immoderate quantities. This wearies the stomach and unfits it for the reception of even the most healthful food. You keep your stomachs constantly debilitated because of your wrong habits of eating. Your food is made too rich. It is not prepared in a simple, natural manner, but is totally unfitted for the stomach when you have prepared it to suit your taste. Nature is burden ed, and endeavors to resist your efforts to cripple her. Chills and fevers are the result of those attempts to rid herself of the burden you lay upon her. You have to suffer the penalty of nature’s violated laws. God has established laws in your system which you cannot violate without suffering the punishment.

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You have consulted taste without reference to health. You have made some changes, but have merely taken the first steps in reform diet. God requires of us temperance in all things. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” {2T 68.2}

Of all the families I am acquainted with, none need the benefit of the health reform more than yours. You groan under pains and prostrations which you cannot account for, and you try to submit with as good a grace as you can, thinking affliction is your lot and Providence has thus ordained it. If you could have your eyes opened and could see the steps taken in your lifetime to walk right into your present condition of poor health you would be astonished at your blindness in not seeing the real state of the case before. You have created unnatural appetites, and do not derive half that enjoyment from your food which you would if you had not used your appetites wrongfully. You have perverted nature, and have been suffering the consequences, and painful has it been.{2T 69.1}

Nature bears abuse as long as she can without resisting, then she arouses and makes a mighty effort to rid herself of the encumbrances and evil treatment she has suffered. Then come headache, chills, fevers, nervousness, paralysis, and other evils too numerous to mention. A wrong course of eating or drinking destroys health, and with it the sweetness of life. Oh, how many times have you purchased what you called a good meal at the expense of a fevered system, loss of appetite, and loss of sleep! Inability to enjoy food, a sleepless night, hours of suffering–all for a meal in which taste was gratified! Thousands have indulged their perverted appetites, have eaten a good meal, as they called it, and as the result, have brought on a fever, or some other a cute disease, and certain death. That was enjoyment purchased at immense cost. Yet many have done this, and these self-murderers have been

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eulogized by their friends and the minister, and carried directly to heaven at their death. What a thought! Gluttons in heaven! No, no; such will never enter the pearly gates of the golden city of God. Such will never be exalted to the right hand of Jesus the precious Saviour, the suffering Man of Calvary, whose life was one of constant self-denial and sacrifice. There is a place appointed for all such among the unworthy, who can have no part in the better life, the immortal inheritance. {2T 69.2}

God requires all men to render their bodies to Him a living sacrifice, not a dead or a dying sacrifice, a sacrifice which their own course of action is debilitating, filling with impurities and disease. God calls for a living sacrifice. The body, He tells us, is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the habitation of His Spirit, and He requires all who bear His image to take care of their bodies for the purpose of His service and His glory. “Ye are not your own,” says the inspired apostle, “ye are bought with a price;” wherefore “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” In order to do this, add to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience. It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given. If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God’s law. We cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better than we love the Lord. We are daily lessening our strength to glorify God, when He requires all our strength, all our mind. By our wrong habits we are lessening our hold

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on life, and yet professing to be Christ’s followers, preparing for the finishing touch of immortality. {2T 70.1}

My brother and sister, you have a work to do which no one can do for you. Awake from your lethargy, and Christ shall give you life. Change your course of living, your eating, your drinking, and your working. While you pursue the course you have been following for years, you cannot clearly discern sacred and eternal things. Your sensibilities are blunted and your intellect beclouded. You have not been growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth as was your privilege. You have not been increasing in spirituality, but growing more and more darkened. You have made too much haste to acquire property, and have been in danger of overreaching, looking out for your own interest and not regarding the interest of others as you would like to have them regard yours. You have encouraged selfishness in yourselves, which must be overcome. Closely examine your own hearts, and in your lives imitate the unerring Pattern, and all will be well with you. Preserve a clear conscience before God. In all you do glorify His name. Divest yourselves of selfishness and selfish love. {2T 71.1}

“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The customs and practices of men are not to be your criterion. However trying may be your circumstances, never allow yourselves to overreach. Satan is at hand to tempt you to do this, and he will not let you rest in this matter. It is possible for a merchant to be a Christian and preserve his integrity before God. But in order to do this, constant watchfulness is necessary and earnest supplication before God to be kept from the evil tendency of this degenerate age to advantage self at others’ disadvantage. You are in a hard place to advance in the divine life. You have

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a principle, but you do not hang all your weight upon God. You trust too much in your own feeble strength. You have great need of divine aid, of a power not to be found in yourself. There is One to whom you can go for counsel, whose wisdom is infinite. He has invited you to come to Him, for He will supply your need. If by faith you cast all your care upon Him who marks the falling of a sparrow, you will not trust in vain. If you will rest upon His sure promises, and maintain your integrity, angels of God will be round about you. Maintain good works in faith before God; then will your steps be ordered by the Lord, and His prospering hand will not be removed from you. {2T 71.2}

If you should be left to mark out your own course, you would make poor work of the matter, and would speedily make shipwreck of faith. Take all your cares and burdens to the Burden Bearer. But suffer not a blot to tarnish your Christian character. Never, never for the sake of gain stamp your life record in heaven, which is viewed by all the angelic host, and by your self-denying Redeemer, with avarice, penuriousness, selfishness, or false dealing. Such a course might bring you profit so far as this wor ld views the matter; but, viewed in the light of heaven, it would prove an immense, an irreparable loss. “The Lord seeth not as man seeth.” In trusting in God continually there is safety, there will not be a constant fear of future evil. This borrowed care and anxiety will cease. We have a heavenly Father who careth for His children, and will and does make His grace sufficient in every time of need. When we take into our own hands the management of things that concern us, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we may well have anxiety and anticipate danger and loss, for it will most certainly come upon us. {2T 72.1}

Full and entire consecration to God is required of us. While the Redeemer of sinful mortals was laboring and suffering for us, He denied Himself, and His whole life was one

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continued scene of toil and privation. Had He chosen to do so, He could have passed His days on earth in ease and plenty, and appropriated to Himself all the pleasures and enjoyments of this life. But He did not; He considered not His own convenience. He lived not to gratify Himself, but to do good and to save others from suffering, to help those who most needed help. He endured to the end. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and He hath borne the iniquity of us all. The bitter cup was apportioned to us to drink. Our sins mingled it. But our dear Saviour took the cup from our lips and drank it Himself, and in its stead He presents to us a cup of mercy, blessing, and salvation. Oh, what an immense sacrifice was this for the fallen race! What love, what wondrous and matchless love! After all this manifestation of suffering to show His love, shall we shrink from the small trials we have to bear? Can we love Christ, and refuse to lift the cross? Can we love to be with Him in glory, and not follow Him even from the judgment hall to Calvary? If Christ be in us the hope of glory, we shall walk even as He walked; we shall imitate His life of sacrifice to bless others; we shall drink of the cup, and be baptized with the baptism; we shall welcome a life of devotion, trial, and self-denial, for Christ’s sake. Heaven will be cheap enough whatever sacrifice we may make to obtain it.{2T 72.2}

Chap. 9 – Everyday Religion

Brother and Sister L: I was shown that you have a work to do to set your house in order. Brother L, you have not properly represented the truth; you have loved the truth, but it has not had that sanctifying influence upon your life which it must have if you would be fitted for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. You are a rough stick and need much hewing and need to remain in the workshop of God until the rough edges are removed, the uneven surface made smooth, and you are pronounce d fit for the building. {2T 78.1}

You should be careful not to introduce the subjects of present truth everywhere. You can do more in living the truth than in talking it to others. You can do very much by example. You need to be very circumspect in your business transactions, to carry out in them the principles of your faith. Be faithful in deal, thorough in labor, ever bearing in mind that it is not your employer’s eye alone that is to inspect your work, but that the eye of God is upon all the transactions of your life. Angels of God are viewing your work, and it should be a part of your religion to have every piece of work marked with truth and faithfulness. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” God wants to make you right, holy, and true. {2T 78.2}

You do not speak wisely and judiciously to your wife and children. You should cultivate kindness and gentleness. Your children have not had the best influence and example before them. They should not control you, but you them, not harshly, not overbearingly, but with firmness and steadiness of purpose. {2T 78.3}

Sister L, you have a great battle before you in order to

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overcome. You have let self keep the victory. Your stubborn will is the greatest enemy you have. You have an unsubdued temper, and do not control your tongue. The lack of self-control has been a great injury to yourself and to your family. Happiness, quietude, and peace have abode in your dwelling but a short period at a time. If your will is crossed you are easily irritated, and then you speak and act as though a demon had possession of you. Angels turn from the scene of discord where angry words are exchanged. Many times have you driven the precious, heavenly angels from your family by the indulgence of passion. {2T 78.4}

Like begets like. The same spirit which you manifest has been reflected upon you again. Your children have seen so little affection, tenderness, and gentleness that they have had nothing to win them to the truth or inspire them with respect for your authority. They have so long partaken of the evil fruits borne by you that their disposition is bitterness. They are not altogether corrupt; there are left beneath the uncultivated exterior, good impulses, which might be reached and brought to the surface. If your religious life had been more even, exemplifying the life of Christ, things would be different in your family. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Just such as the seed you sow will be the harvest which you will gather. If gentle words were the order of the day in your dwelling, such fruit would you receive. {2T 79.1}

A heavy responsibility rests upon you. In view of this, how careful should you be in all your words and acts. What kind of seed are you sowing in the hearts of your children? The reaping time–oh! remember, the reaping time is not far distant. Sow no foul seed. Satan is ready to do that work. Sow only clean, pure seed. {2T 79.2}

You, my dear sister, have been jealous, envious, and fault-finding. You have thought you were neglected and despised.

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You have been too much neglected, but you have a work to do for yourself which no one can do for you. It will require effort, perseverance, and earnestness to obtain the victory over long-established habits which have become as second nature. We have the tenderest feelings for you, with all your errors and faults; and while we shall take the liberty to tell you your faults, we pledge ourselves to help you in every way we can. {2T 79.3}

I was shown that you do not possess that filial love which you should. The evil in your nature is exercised in a most unnatural way. You are not tender and respectful to your parents. Whatever may be their faults, you have no excuse for the course you have pursued toward them. It has been most unfeeling and disrespectful. Angels turned from you in sadness, repeating these words: “That which ye sow ye shall also reap.” Should time continue, you would receive from your children the same treatment which your parents have received from you. You have not studied how you could best make your parents happy, and then sacrificed your wishes and your pleasure to this end.Their days upon earth are few at most, and will be full of care and trouble even if you do all you can to smooth their passage to the grave. “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” This is the first commandment with promise. It is binding upon childhood and youth, upon the middle-aged and the aged. There is no period in life when children are excused from honoring their parents. This solemn obligation is binding upon every son and daughter, and is one of the conditions to their prolonging their lives upon the land which the Lor d will give the faithful. This is not a subject unworthy of notice, but a matter of vital importance. The promise is upon condition of obedience. If you obey you shall live long in the land which the Lord your

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God gives you. If you disobey you shall not prolong your life in that land. {2T 80.1}

Here, my sister, is a subject for your prayerful consideration and earnest meditation. Closely examine your own heart as in the light of eternity. Hide nothing from your examination. Search, oh! search, as for your life, and condemn yourself, pass judgment upon yourself, and then by faith claim the cleansing blood of Christ to remove the stains from your Christian character. Do not flatter or excuse yourself. Deal truly with your own soul. And then as you view yourself a sinner, fall, all broken, at the foot of the cross. Jesus will receive you, all polluted as you are, and will wash you in His blood, and cleanse you from all pollution, and make you fit for the society of heavenly angels, in a pure, harmonious heaven. There is no jar, no discord, there. All is health, happiness, and joy. {2T 81.1}

Sister L, you have not been indifferent to your salvation. You have, at times, made earnest efforts, and have humbled yourself before the church and before God; but you have not received that encouragement which you needed, and which Jesus would have freely given you had He been upon earth. Love is wanting in the church. Love for the erring is covered up with selfishness. There is a great lack of this precious grace among God’s people. You have thought that the people of God were indifferent to you, and your soul has rebelled against it. They have not felt right nor talked right. They have not pursued a right course. They are not justified in this. Heaven frowns upon it. Jesus pities you, and He invites you, weary, and heavy-laden, to come to Him and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your soul. The yoke of Christ is easy, and His burden is light. When perplexed, worried, and annoyed, flee to the Burden Bearer; tell it all to Jesus. Your brethren and sisters may not

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appreciate your efforts, and may never know how hard you do try to obtain the victory; yet this should not discourage you. If Jesus knows, if He is acquainted with your sincere efforts, be satisfied. {2T 81.2}

There must be a thorough reformation in your life, a transformation by the renewing of your mind. God requires His people to help you because you need help, and you should be humble enough to be helped by them. When tempted to give loose rein to the unruly member, oh! bear in mind that the recording angel is noting every word. All are written in the book, and, unless washed away by the blood of Christ, you must meet them again. You now have a spotted record in heaven. Sincere repentance before God will be accepted. When about to speak passionately, close your mouth. Don’t utter a word. Pray before you speak, and heavenly angels will come to your assistance and drive back the evil angels, who would lead you to dishonor God, reproach His cause, and weaken your own soul. {2T 82.1}

Especially have you a work to do to confess with humiliation your disrespectful course toward your parents. There is no reason for this unnatural manifestation toward them. It is purely a satanic spirit, and you have indulged in it because your mother has not sanctioned your course. Your feelings amount not only to positive dislike, decided disrespect, but to hatred, malice, envy, jealousy, which are manifested in your actions, causing them suffering and privation. You do not feel like making them happy, or even comfortable. Your feelings are changeable. Sometimes your heart softens, then it closes firmly as you see some fault in them, and the angels cannot impress it with one emotion of love. An evil demon controls you, and you are hateful and hating. God has marked your disrespectful words, your unkind acts to your parents, whom He has commanded you to honor, and if you fail to

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see this great sin, and repent of it, you will grow darker until you will be left to your evil ways. {2T 82.2}

The Lord is ready to help all who need help and feel that need. If you see your poverty and wretchedness before God, and earnestly take hold of His strength, He will help, and bless, and impart to you strength,that by your good works you may lead others to glorify our Father who is in heaven. Will you see yourself? Will you submit your will and ways to God? Will you seek for pure and undefiled religion before God? Oh, what will it avail you to pass along in this wretched condition! You have no happiness yourself in this way of living, and those around you have no happiness in your society. Surely you make for yourself a great amount of misery; and such a life as you have led is not worth much. Why not, then, be reconciled to God? Die to self and be converted, that Jesus may heal you. He wants to save you, if you will consent to be saved in His appointed way. May the Lord help you to see and correct every error is my prayer. {2T 83.1}

Brother L, you should be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Be careful of your words. Let not Satan make you a stumbling block to others. There is a failure in your business transactions. You slight your work. You get through with it as soon as you can, thinking that it will do, when it is not well done. You lack thoroughness. You should cultivate taste and order in all you do. That which is worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you lack faithfulness in your business life you will lack in your religious life, and in the day of God the balances of the sanctuary will reveal the fact that you are wanting. This lack is a reproach to your faith. Unbelievers charge it to dishonesty, and say: “If it is such men that keep the Sabbath, I don’t choose to be of that sort.” {2T 83.2}

As men prove your work and find it deficient in durability, nicety, and order, they say you are a cheat, and many hard

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speeches have been made over it. Many oaths have been uttered over your work, and God has been blasphemed. You do not mean to be dishonest, but there is a slackness in your jobs. You think your employers are too particular, that you know what will answer as well as they; and hence this slack, loose, unfinished style attends your labor to a great extent. You should improve in this matter. You should be honorable in all your labor, and close up your work in a manner that will bear the inspection of God. Scorn to slight any job. Be faithful in that which is least. {2T 83.3}

Try to help your wife in the conflict before her. Be careful of your words, cultivate refinement of manners, courtesy, gentleness, and you will be rewarded for so doing.{2T 84.1}

Chap. 16 – Look to Jesus

In the vision given me June 12, 1868, I was shown the danger of the people of God in looking to Brother and Sister White and thinking that they must come to them with their burdens and seek counsel of them. This ought not so to be. They are invited by their compassionate, loving Saviour to come unto Him, when weary and heavy-laden, and He will relieve them. In Him they will find rest. In taking their perplexities and trials to Jesus, they will find the promise in

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regard to them fulfilled. When in their distress they feel the relief which is found alone in Jesus they obtain an experience which is of the highest value to them. Brother and Sister White are striving for purity of life, striving to bring forth fruit unto holiness; yet they are only erring mortals. Many come to us with the inquiry: Shall I do this? Shall I engage in that enterprise? Or, in regard to dress, Shall I wear this or that article? I answer them: You profess to be disciples of Christ. Study your Bibles. Read carefully and prayerfully the life of our dear Saviour when He dwelt among men upon the earth. Imitate His life, and you will not be found straying from the narrow path. We utterly refuse to be conscience for you. If we tell you just what to do, you will look to us to guide you, instead of going directly to Jesus for yourselves. Your experience will be founded in us. You must have an experience for yourselves, which shall be founded in God. Then can you stand amid the perils of the last days and be purified and not consumed by the fire of affliction through which all the saints must pass in order to have the impurities removed from their character preparatory to receiving the finishing touch of immortality. {2T 118.3}

Many of our dear brethren and sisters think that they cannot have a large gathering unless Brother and Sister White attend. In many places they realize that something must be done to move the people to more earnestness and decided action in the work and cause of truth. They have had ministers to labor among them, yet they realize that a greater work must be done, and look to Brother and Sister White to do it. This, I saw, was not as God would have it. In the first place, there is a deficiency with some of our ministers. They lack thoroughness. They do not take on the burden of the work and reach out to lift just where the people need help. They do not possess discernment to see and feel just where the people need to be corrected, reproved, built up, and strengthened.

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Some of them labor weeks and months in a place, and there is actually more to do when they leave than when they commenced. Systematic benevolence is dragging. It is one part of the minister’s labor to keep up this branch of the work; but, because this is not agreeable, some neglect their duty. They talk the truth from the word of God, but do not impress the people with the necessity of obedience. Therefore many are hearers, but not doers. The people feel the deficiency. Things are not set in order among them, and they look to Brother and Sister White to make up the deficiency. {2T 119.1}

Some of our ministering brethren have glided along without settling deep into the work and getting hold of the hearts of the people. They have excused themselves with the thought that Brother and Sister White would bring up the things that were lacking; that they were specially adapted to the work. These men have labored, but not in the right way. They have not borne the burden. They have not helped where help was needed. They have not corrected deficiencies which needed to be corrected. They have not entered, whole heart, and soul, and energies, into the wants of the people. Time has passed, and they have nothing to show for it. The burden of their deficiencies falls back on us. And they encourage the people to look to us, presenting the idea that nothing will accomplish the work but our special testimony. God is not pleased with this. Ministers should take greater responsibilities and not entertain the thought that they cannot bear that message which will help the people where they need help. If they cannot do this, they should tarry in Jerusalem till they are endowed with power from on high. They should not engage in a work which they cannot perform. They should go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, and return from their effort rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them. {2T 120.1}

Ministers should impress upon the people the necessity of

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individual effort. No church can flourish unless its members are workers. The people must lift where the ministers lift. I saw that nothing lasting can be accomplished for churches in different places unless they are aroused to feel that a responsibility rests upon them. Every member of the body should feel that the salvation of his own soul depends upon his own individual effort. Souls cannot be saved without exertion. The minister cannot save the people. He can be a channel through which God will impart light to His people; but after the light is given, it is left with the people to appropriate that light, and, in their turn, let it shine forth to others. The people should feel that an individual responsibility rests upon them, not only to save their own souls, but to earnestly engage in the salvation of those who remain in darkness. Instead of looking to Brother and Sister White to help them out of their darkness, they should be earnestly engaged in helping themselves. If they should begin to hunt up those worse off than themselves, and should try to help them, they would help themselves into the light sooner than in any other way. If the people lean upon Brother and Sister White, and trust in them, God will humble them among you or remove them from you. You must look to God and trust in Him. Lean upon Him, and He will not forsake you. He will not leave you to perish. Precious is the word of God. “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life.” These are the words of Christ. The words of inspiration, carefully and prayerfully studied and practically obeyed, will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works. Ministers and people must look to God. {2T 120.2}

We are living in an evil age. The perils of the last days thicken around us. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Enoch walked with God three hundred years. Now the shortness of time seems to be urged as a motive to seek righteousness. Should it be necessary that the

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terrors of the day of God be held before us in order to compel us to right action? Enoch’s case is before us. Hundreds of years he walked with God. He lived in a corrupt age, when moral pollution was teeming all around him; yet he trained his mind to devotion, to love purity. His conversation was upon heavenly things. He educated his mind to run in this channel, and he bore the impress of the divine. His countenance was lighted up with the light which shineth in the face of Jesus. Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted.He was a representative of the saints who live amid the perils and corruptions of the last days. For his faithful obedience to God he was translated. So, also, the faithful, who are alive and remain, will be translated. They will be removed from a sinful and corrupt world to the pure joys of heaven. {2T 121.1}

The course of God’s people should be upward and onward to victory. A greater than Joshua is leading on the armies of Israel. One is in our midst, even the Captain of our salvation, who has said for our encouragement: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He will lead us on to certain victory. What God promises, He is able at any time to perform. And the work He gives His people to do, He is able to accomplish by them. If we live a life of perfect obedience, His promises will be fulfilled toward us. {2T 122.1}

God requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their conversation should be

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heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God they will wish to have intercourse with their fellow men in order to express by their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will not go out or be taken away. It will indeed become darkness to those who will not walk in it, but it will shine with increasing brightness on the path of those who will obey and walk in the light. {2T 122.2}

The spirit, wisdom, and goodness of God, revealed in His word, are to be exemplified by the disciples of Christ, and are thus to condemn the world. God requires of His people according to the grace and truth given them. All His righteous demands must be fully met. Accountable beings must walk in the light that shines upon them. If they fail to do this, their light becomes darkness, and their darkness is great in the same degree as their light was abundant. Accumulated light has shone upon God’s people; but many have neglected to follow the light, and for this reason they are in a state of great spiritual weakness. {2T 123.1}

It is not for lack of knowledge that God’s people are now perishing. They will not be condemned because they do not know the way, the truth, and the life. The truth that has reached their understanding, the light which has shone on the soul, but which has been neglected or refused, will condemn them. Those who never had the light to reject will not be in condemnation. What more could have been done for God’s vineyard than has been done? Light, precious light, shines upon God’s people; but it will not s ave them unless they consent to be saved by it, fully live up to it, and transmit it to others in darkness. God calls upon His people to act. It is an individual work of confessing and forsaking sins and returning unto the Lord that is needed. One cannot d o this work for another. Religious knowledge has accumulated,

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and this has increased corresponding obligations. Great light has been shining upon the church, and by it they are condemned because they refuse to walk in it. If they were blind they would be without sin. But they have seen light and have heard much truth, yet are not wise and holy. Many have for years made no advancement in knowledge and true holiness. They are spiritual dwarfs. Instead of going forward to perfection, they are going back to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness. {2T 123.2}

Will the Israel of God awake? Will all who profess godliness seek to put away every wrong, to confess to God every secret sin, and afflict the soul before Him? Will they, with great humility, investigate the motives of every action, and know that the eye of God reads all, searches out every hidden thing? Let the work be thorough, the consecration to God entire. He calls for a full surrender of all that we have and are. Ministers and people need a new conversion, a transformation of the mind, without which we are not savors of life unto life, but of death unto death. Great privileges belong to the people of God. Great light has been given them, that they may attain to their high calling in Christ Jesus; yet they are not what God would have them to be and what He designs they shall be.{2T 124.1}

Chap. 17 – Separation From the World

Dear Brethren and Sisters: God designed that the light of the church should increase and grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Precious promises are made to God’s people upon condition of obedience. If, like Caleb and Joshua, you had wholly followed the Lord, He would have magnified His power in your midst. Sinners would have been

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converted, and backsliders reclaimed, by your influence; and even the enemies of our faith, although they might oppose and speak against the truth, could but admit that God was with you. {2T 124.2}

Many of the professed, peculiar people of God are so conformed to the world that their peculiar character is not discerned, and it is difficult to distinguish “between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” God would do great things for H is people if they would come out from the world and be separate. If they would submit to be led by Him, He would make them a praise in all the earth. Says the True Witness: “I know thy works.” Angels of God who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation are acquainted with the condition of all and understand just the measure of faith possessed by each individual. The unbelief, pride, covetousness, and love of the world, which have existed in the hearts of God’s professed people, have grieved the si nless angels. As they have seen that grievous and presumptuous sins exist in the hearts of many professed followers of Christ, and that God has been dishonored by their inconsistent, crooked course, they have been caused to weep. And yet those most at fault, those who cause the greatest feebleness in the church and bring a stain upon their holy profession, do not seem to be alarmed or convicted, but seem to feel that they are flourishing in the Lord. {2T 125.1}

Many believe that they are on the right foundation, that they have the truth; they rejoice in its clearness and boast of the powerful arguments in proof of the correctness of our position. Such reckon themselves among the chosen, peculiar people of Go d, yet they experience not His presence and power to save them from yielding to temptation and folly. These profess to know God, yet in works deny Him. How great is their darkness! The love of the world with many, the

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deceitfulness of riches with others, have choked the word, and they have become unfruitful. {2T 125.2}

I was shown that the church at —– have partaken of the spirit of the world and become lukewarm to an alarming extent. When efforts are made to set things in order in the church and bring the people up to the position God would have them occupy, a class will be affected by the labor, and will make earnest efforts to press through the darkness to the light. But many do not persevere in their efforts long enough to realize the sanctifying influence of the truth upon their hearts and lives. The cares of the world engross the mind to that degree that self-examination and secret prayer are neglected. The armor is laid off and Satan has free access to them, benumbing their sensibilities and causing them to be unsuspicious of his wiles. {2T 126.1}

Some do not manifest a desire to know their true state and escape from Satan’s snares. They are sickly and dying. They are occasionally warmed by the fire of others, yet are so nearly chilled by formality, pride, and the influence of the world that th ey have no sense of their need of help. {2T 126.2}

There are many who are deficient in spirituality and the Christian graces. A weight of solemn responsibility should daily rest upon them as they view the perilous times in which we live and the corrupting influences which are teeming around us. Their only hope of being partakers of the divine nature is to escape the corruption that is in the world. These brethren need a deep and thorough experience in the things of God, and this can only be obtained by an effort on their part. Their position requires t hem to possess earnestness and unabated diligence, so as not to be found sleeping at their post. Satan and his angels sleep not. {2T 126.3}

Christ’s followers should be instruments of righteousness, workmen, living stones, emitting light, that they may encourage the presence of heavenly angels. They are required

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to be channels, as it were, through which the spirit of truth and righteousness shall flow. Many have partaken so largely of the spirit and influence of the world that they act like the world. They have their likes and dislikes, and discern not excellence of character. Their conduct is not governed by the pure principles of Christianity; therefore they think only of themselves, their pleasure and enjoyment, to the disregard of others. They are not sanctified through the truth, therefore realize not the oneness of Christ’s followers the world over. Those who are most loved of God are those who possess the least self-confidence and are adorned with a meek and quiet spirit; whose lives are pure and unselfish, and whose hearts are inclined, through the abundant measure of the spirit of Christ, to obedience, justice, purity, and true holiness. {2T 126.4}

If all were devoted to God, a precious light would shine forth from them, which would have a direct influence upon all who are brought in contact with them. But all need a work done for them. Some are far from God, variable and unstable as water; they have no idea of sacrifice. When they desire any special indulgence or pleasure, or any article of dress, they do not consider whether or not they can do without the article, or deny themselves the pleasure, and make a freewill offering to God. How many have considered that they were required to make some sacrifice? Although it may be of less value than that of the wealthy man who possesses his thousands, yet that which really costs self-denial would be a precious sacrifice, an offering to God. It would be a sweet-smelling savor, and come up from his altar like sweet incense. {2T 127.1}

The youth are not authorized to do just as they please with their means, regardless of the requirements of God. With David they should say: “Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” Quite an amount of means has been expended to multiply copies of their pictures. Could all enumerate the amount given

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to the artist for this purpose, it would swell to quite a large sum. And this is merely one way in which means is squandered, invested for self-gratification, from which no profit is received. By this outlay, they are not clothed or fed, the widow and the fatherless are not relieved, the hungry are not fed, the naked are not clothed. {2T 127.2}

While money is spent lavishly in self-gratification, stinted offerings are brought to God almost unwillingly. How much of the wages earned by the young finds its way into the treasury of God to aid in the advancement of the work of saving souls? They give a mite each week and feel that they do much. But they have no sense that they are just as much stewards of God over their little as are the wealthy over their larger possessions. God has been robbed and themselves indulged, their pleasure consulted, their taste gratified, without a thought that He would make close investigation of how they have used His goods. While such unhesitatingly gratify their supposed wants and withhold from God the offering they ought to make, He will no more accept the little pittance they hand into the treasury than He accepted the offering of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who purposed to rob Him in their offerings. {2T 128.1}

As a general thing, the young among us are allied to the world. But few maintain a special warfare against the internal foe, few have an earnest, anxious desire to know and do the will of God. But few hunger and thirst after righteousness, and few know anything of the Spirit of God as a reprover or comforter. Where are the missionaries? Where are the self-denying, self-sacrificing ones? Where are the cross bearers? Self and self-interest have swallowed up high and noble principles. Things of eternal moment bear with no special weight upon the mind. God requires them individually to come up to the point to make an entire surrender. “Ye cannot

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serve God and mammon.” You cannot serve self and at the same time be servants of Christ. You must die to self, die to your love of pleasure, and learn to inquire: Will God be pleased with the objects for which I purpose to spend this means? Shall I glorify Him? {2T 128.2}

We are commanded, whether we eat, or drink, or whatsoever we do, to do all to the glory of God. How many have conscientiously moved from principle rather than from impulse, and obeyed this command to the letter? How many of the youthful disciples in—– have made God their trust and portion, and have earnestly sought to know and do His will? There are many who are servants of Christ in name, but who are not so in deed. Where religious principle governs, the danger of committing great errors is small; for selfishness, which always blinds and deceives, is subordinate. The sincere desire to do others good so predominates that self is forgotten. To have firm religious principlesis an inestimable treasure. It is the purest, highest, and most elevated infl uence mortals can possess. Such have an anchor. Every act is well considered, lest its effect be injurious to another and lead away from Christ. The constant inquiry of the mind is:Lord, how shall I best serve Thee, and glorify Thy name in the earth? How shall conduct my life to make Thy name a praise in the earth, and lead others to love, serve,and honor Thee? Let me only desire and choose Thy will. Let the words and example of my Redeemer be the light and strength of my heart. While I follow and trust in Him, He will not leave me to perish. He will be my crown of rejoicing. {2T 129.1}

If we mistake the wisdom of man for the wisdom of God we are led astray by the foolishness of man’s wisdom. Here is the great danger of many in —–. They have not an experience for themselves. They have not been in the habit of prayerfully considering for themselves, with unprejudiced,

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unbiased judgment, questions and subjects that are new and that are ever liable to arise. They wait to see what others will think. If these dissent, that is all that is needed to convince them that the subject under consideration is of no account whatever. Although this class is large, it does not change the fact that they are inexperienced and weak-minded through long yielding to the enemy, and will always be as sickly as babes, walking by others’ light, living on others’ experience, feeling as others feel, and acting as others act. They act as though they had not an individuality. Their identity is submerged in others; they are merely shadows of those whom they think about right. Unless these become sensible of their wavering character and correct it, they will all fail of everlasting life; they will be unable to cope with the perils of the last days. They will possess no stamina to resist the devil, for they do not know that it is he. Someone must be at their side to inform them whether a foe or a friend is approaching. They are not spiritual, therefore spiritual things are not discerned. They are not wise in those things which relate to the kingdom of God. Neither young nor old are excusable in trusting to another to have an experience for them. Said the angel: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” A noble self-reliance is needed in the Christian experience and warfare. {2T 129.2}

Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage, steadiness of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds that cannot take the assertions of another, but which will investigate for themselves before receiving or rejecting, that will study and weigh evidence, and take it to the Lord in prayer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Now the condition: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave

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of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” This petition for wisdom is not to be a meaningless prayer, out of mind as soon as finished. It is a prayer that expresses the strong, earnest desire of the heart, arising from a conscious lack of wisdom to determine the will of God. {2T 130.1}

After the prayer is made, if the answer is not realized immediately, do not weary of waiting and become unstable. Waver not. Cling to the promise, “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” Like the importunate widow, urge your case, being firm in your purpose. Is the object important and of great consequence to you? It certainly is. Then waver not, for your faith may be tried. If the thing you desire is valuable, it is worthy of a strong, earnest effort. You have the promise; watch and pray. Be steadfast and the prayer will be answered; for is it not God who has promised? If it costs you something to obtain it you will prize it the more when obtained. You are plainly told that if you waver you need not think that you shall receive anything of the Lord. A caution is here given not to become weary, but to rest firmly upon the promise. If you ask, He will give you liberally and upbraid not. {2T 131.1}

Here is where many make a mistake. They waver from their purpose, and their faith fails. This is the reason they receive nothing of the Lord, who is our Source of strength. None need go in darkness, stumbling along like a blind man; for the Lord has provided light if they will accept it in His appointed way, and not choose their own way. He requires of all a diligent performance of everyday duties. Especially is this required of all who are engaged in the solemn, important work in the office of publication, both of those upon whom rest the more weighty responsibilities of the work, and of those who bear the least responsibilities. This can be done

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only by looking to God for ability to enable them faithfully to perform what is right in the sight of Heaven, doing all things as though governed by unselfish motives, as if the eye of God were visible to all, looking upon all, and investigating the acts of all. {2T 131.2}

The sin which is indulged to the greatest extent, and which separates us from God and produces so many contagious spiritual disorders, is selfishness. There can be no returning to the Lord except by self-denial. Of ourselves we can do nothing; but, through God strengthening us, we can live to do good to others, and in this way shun the evil of selfishness. We need not go to heathen lands to manifest our desire to devote all to God in a useful, unselfish life. We should do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate and with whom we do business. Right in the common walks of life is where self is to be denied and kept in subordination. Paul could say: “I die daily.” It is the daily dying to self in the little transactions of life that makes us overcomers. We should forget self in the desire to do good to others. With many there is a decided lack of love for others. Instead of faithfully performing their duty, they seek rather their own pleasure. {2T 132.1}

God positively enjoins upon all His followers a duty to bless others with their influence and means, and to seek that wisdom of Him which will enable them to do all in their power to elevate the thoughts and affections of those who come within their influence. In doing for others, a sweet satisfaction will be experienced, an inward peace which will be a sufficient reward. When actuated by a high and noble desire to do others good, they will find true happiness in a faithful discharge of life’s manifold duties. This will bring more than an earthly reward; for every faithful, unselfish performance of duty is noticed by the angels and shines in the life record. In heaven none will think of self, nor seek their own pleasure;

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but all, from pure, genuine love, will seek the happiness of the heavenly beings around them. If we wish to enjoy heavenly society in the earth made new, we must be governed by heavenly principles here. {2T 132.2}

Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same beneficial influence upon others, and thus hundreds and thousands are affected by our unconscious influence. If we by acts strengthen or force into activity the evil powers possessed by those around us, we share their sin, and will have to render an account for the good we might have done them and did not do, because we made not God our strength, our guide, our counselor. {2T 133.1}

Chap. 20 – Neglect of Hannah More

In the case of Sister Hannah More, I was shown that the neglect of her was the neglect of Jesus in her person. Had the Son of God come in the humble, unpretending manner in which He journeyed from place to place when He was upon earth, He would have met with no better reception. It is the deep principle of love that dwelt in the bosom of the humble Man of Calvary that is needed. Had the church lived in the light, they would have appreciated this humble missionary whose whole being was aglow to be engaged in her Master’s service. Her very earnest interest was misconstrued. Her externals were not just such as would meet the approval of the eye of taste and fashion, for familiarity with strict economy and poverty had left its impress upon her apparel. Her hard-earned means had been exhausted as fast as obtained to benefit

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others, to get light to those whom she hoped to lead to the cross of truth. {2T 140.1}

Even the professed church of Christ, with their exalted privileges and high professions, discerned not the image of Christ in this self-denying child of God because they were so far removed from Christ themselves that they reflected not His image. They judged by the external appearance and took no special pains to discern the inward adorning. Here was a woman whose resources of knowledge and genuine experience in the mysteries of godliness exceeded those of anyone residing at —–, and whose manner of address to the youth and children was pleasing, instructive, and salutary. She was not harsh, but correct and sympathetic, and would have proved one of the most useful laborers in the field as an instructor of the youth and an intelligent, useful companion and counselor to mothers. She could reach hearts by her earnest, matter-of-fact presentation of incidents in her religious life, which she had devoted to the service of her Redeemer. Had the church emerged from darkness and deception into the clear light, their hearts would have been drawn out after the lonely stranger. Her prayers, her tears, her distress, at seeing no way of usefulness open to her, have been seen and heard in heaven. The Lord offered to His people talented help; but they were rich and increased with goods, and had need of nothing. They turned from and rejected a most precious blessing of which they will yet feel the need. Had Elder E stood in the clear light of God and been imbued with His Spirit when this servant of Jesus, lonely, homeless, and thirsting for a work to do for her Master, was brought to his notice, spirit would have answered to spirit, as face answereth to face in a mirror; his heart would have been drawn out after this disciple of Christ, and he would have understood her. Thus also with the church. They had been in such spiritual blindness they had

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lost the sound of the voice of the True Shepherd and were following the voice of a stranger, who was leading them from the fold of Christ. {2T 141.1}

Many look upon the great work to be accomplished for God’s people, and their prayers go up to Him for help in the great harvest. But, if help does not come in just the manner they expect, they will not receive it, but turn from it as the Jewish nation turned from Christ because disappointed in the manner of His appearing. Too much poverty and humility marked His advent, and in their pride they refused Him who came to give them life. In this God would have the church humble their hearts and see the grea t need of correcting their ways before Him, lest He visit them in judgment. Many who profess godliness make the external adorning far more important than the inward adorning. Had the church all humbled themselves before the Lord and corrected their past errors so fully as to meet His mind, they would not be so deficient in estimating moral excellence of character. {2T 142.1}

The light of Sister Hannah More has gone out, whereas it might now be burning brightly to illuminate the pathway of many who are walking in the dark paths of error and rebellion. God calls upon the church to arouse from their slumber and with deep earnestness inquire into the cause of this self-deception among professors whose names are on the church book. Satan is deluding and cheating them in the greatconcern of salvation. Nothing is more treacherous than the deceitfulness of sin. It is the god of this world that deludes, and blinds, and leads to destruction. Satan does not enter with his array of temptations at once. He disguises these temptations with a semblance of good; he mingles some little improvement with the folly and amusements, and deceived souls urge as an excuse for engaging in them that great good is to be derived. This is only the deceptive part; Satan’s hellish arts

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are masked. Beguiled souls take one step, then are prepared for the next. It is much more pleasant to follow the inclination of their own hearts than to stand on the defensive and resist the first insinuation of the wily foe, and thus shut out his incomings. Oh, how Satan watches to see his bait taken so readily and to see souls walking in the very path he has prepared! He does not want them to give up praying and maintaining a form of religious duties, for while they do this he can make them more useful in his service. He unites his sophistry and deceptive snares with their experience and profession, and thus wonderfully advances his cause. The hypocritical Pharisees prayed and fasted, and observed the forms of godliness, while they were corrupt at heart. Satan stands by to taunt Christ and His angels with insults, saying: “I have them!I have them! I have prepared my deception for them. Your blood is worthless here. Your intercessions and power and wonderful works may as well cease; I have them! They are mine! Notwithstanding their high profession as subjects of Christ, notwithstanding they once enjoyed the illumination of His presence, I will secure them to myself in the very face of heaven, which they are talking about. It is such subjects as these that I can use to decoy others.” {2T 142.2}

Solomon says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool;” and there are hundreds of such to be found among professors of godliness. Says the apostle: “We are not ignorant of his devices.” Oh, what art, what skill, what cunning, is exercised to lead the professed followers of Christ to a union with the world by seeking for happiness in the amusements of the world, under the delusion that some good is to be gained! And thus the unguarded walk right into the net, flattering themselves that there is no evil in the way. The affections and sympathies of such are wrought upon, and this lays a slim

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foundation upon which they build their confidence that they are the children of Go d. They compare themselves with others and settle down satisfied that they are even better than many true Christians. But where is the deep love of Christ shining forth in their lives, its bright rays blessing others? Where is their Bible? and how much is it studied? Where are their thoughts? Are they upon heaven and heavenly things? It is not natural for their minds to go forth in that direction. The study of God’s word is uninteresting to them. It does not possess that which excites and fevers the mind, a nd the natural, unrenewed heart prefers some other book to the word of God. Their attention is engrossed in self. They have no deep, earnest longings for the influence of the Spirit of God upon the mind and heart. God is not in all their thoughts. {2T 143.1}

How can I endure the thought that most of the youth in this age will come short of everlasting life! Oh, that the sound of instrumental music might cease and they no more while away so much precious time in pleasing their own fancy. Oh, that they would devote less time to dress and vain conversation, and send forth their earnest, agonizing prayers to God for a sound experience. There is great necessity for close self-examination in the light of God’s word; let each one raise the inquiry: “Am I sound, or am I rotten at heart? Am I renewed in Christ, or am I still carnal at heart, with a new dress put on the outside?” Rein yourself up to the great tribunal, and in the light of God examine to see if there be any secret sin that you are cherishing, any idol that you have not sacrificed. Pray, yes, pray as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan’s devices, that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, vain spirit, and attend to religious duties to quiet your own conscience. {2T 144.1}

It is inappropriate for Christians in any age of the world

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to be lovers of pleasure, but how much more so now when the scenes of this earth’s history are so soon to close. Surely the foundation of your hope of everlasting life cannot be laid too sure. The welfare of your soul and your eternal happiness depend upon whether your foundation is built upon Christ. While others are panting after earthly enjoyments, be ye panting after the unmistakable assurance of the love of God, earnestly, fervently crying: Who will show me how to make my calling and election sure? One of the signs of the last days is, that professed Christians are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Deal truly with your own soul. Search carefully. How few, after a faithful examination, can look up to heaven and say: “I am not one of those thus described! I am not a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God!” How few can say: “I am dead to the world; the life I now live is by faith in the Son of God! My life is hid with Christ in God, and when He who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with Him in glory.” The love and grace of God! Oh, precious grace! more valuable than fine gold. It elevates and ennobles the spirit beyond all other principles, and sets the affections upon heaven. While those around us may be vain and engaged in pleasure-seeking and folly, our conversation is in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour; the soul is reaching out after God for pardon and peace, for righteousness and true holiness. Converse with God and contemplation of things above transform the soul into the likeness of Christ.{2T 144.2}

Chap. 21 – Prayer for the Sick

In the case of Sister F, there needed to be a great work accomplished. Those who united in praying for her needed a work done for them. Had God answered their prayers, it

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would have proved their ruin. In such cases of affliction, where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self-examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ alone. Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” {2T 145.1}

It is heartwork that the Lord requires, good works springing from a heart filled with love. All should carefully and prayerfully consider the above scriptures, and investigate their motives and actions. The promise of God to us is on condition of obedience, compliance with all His requirements. “Cry aloud,” saith the prophet Isaiah, “spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me

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the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” {2T 146.1}

A people are here addressed who make high profession, who are in the habit of praying, and who delight in religious exercises; yet there is a lack. They realize that their prayers are not answered; their zealous, earnest efforts are not observed in heaven and they earnestly inquire why the Lord makes them no returns. It is not because there is any neglect on the part of God. The difficulty is with the people. While professing godliness, they do not bear fruit to the glory of God; their works are not what they should be. They are living in neglect of positive duties. Unless these are performed, God cannot answer their prayers according to His glory. In the case of offering prayer for Sister F, there was confusion of sentiment. Some were fanatical and moved from impulse. They possessed a zeal, but not according to knowledge. Some looked at the great thing to be accomplished in this case and began to triumph before the victory was gained. There was much of the Jehu spirit manifested: “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” In place of this self-confident assurance, the case should have been presented to God with a spirit of humbleness and distrustfulness of self, and with a broken and a contrite heart. {2T 147.1}

I was shown that in case of sickness, where the way is clear for the offering up of prayer for the sick, the case should be committed to the Lord in calm faith, not with a storm of excitement. He alone is acquainted with the past life of the individua l and knows what his future will be. He who is acquainted with the hearts of all men knows whether the person, if raised up, would glorify His name or dishonor Him by backsliding and apostasy. All that we are required to do is to ask God to raise the sick up if in accordance with His

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will, believing that He hears the reasons which we present and the fervent prayers offered. If the Lord sees it will best honor Him, He will answer our prayers. But to urge recovery without submission to His will is not right. {2T 147.2}

What God promises He is able at any time to perform, and the work which He gives His people to do He is able to accomplish by them. If they will live according to every word He has spoken, every good word and promise will be fulfilled unto them. But if they come short of perfect obedience, the great and precious promises are afar off, and they cannot reach the fulfillment. {2T 148.1}

All that can be done in praying for the sick is to earnestly importune God in their behalf, and in perfect confidence rest the matter in His hands. If we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us. He can do what He will with His own. He will glorify Himself by working in and through them who wholly follow Him, so that it shall be known that it is the Lord and that their works are wrought in God. Said Christ: “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” When we come to Him we should pray that we may enter into and accomplish His purpose, and that our desires and interests may be lost in His. We should acknowledge our acceptance of His will, not praying Him to concede to ours. It is better for us that God does not always answer our praye rs just when we desire, and in just the manner we wish. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes, for our wisdom is folly. {2T 148.2}

We have united in earnest prayer around the sickbed of men, women, and children, and have felt that they were given back to us from the dead in answer to our earnest prayers. In these prayers we thought we must be positive and, if we exercised faith, that we must ask for nothing less than life. We dared not say, “If it will glorify God,” fearing it would admit a semblance of doubt. We have anxiously watched

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those who have been given back, as it were, from the dead. We have seen some of these, especially youth, raised to health, and they have forgotten God, become dissolute in life, causing sorrow and anguish to parents and friends, and have become a shame to those who feared to pray. They lived not to honor and glorify God, but to curse Him with their lives of vice. {2T 148.3}

We no longer mark out a way nor seek to bring the Lord to our wishes. If the life of the sick can glorify Him, we pray that they may live; nevertheless, not as we will but as He will. Our faith can be just as firm, and more reliable, by committing the desire to the all-wise God, and, without feverish anxiety, in perfect confidence, trusting all to Him. We have the promise. We know that He hears us if we ask according to His will. Our petitions must not take the form of a command, but of intercession for Him to do the things we desire of Him. When the church are united, they will have strength and power; but when part of them are united to the world, and many are given to covetousness, which God abhors, He can do but little for them. Unbelief and sin shut them away from God. We are so weak that we cannot bear much spiritual prosperity, lest we take the glory, and accredit goodness and righteousness to ourselves as the reason of the signal blessing of God, when it was all because of the great mercy and lovingkindness of our compassionate heavenly Father, and not because any good was found in us. {2T 149.1}

We should ever exert an influence which will be sanctifying on those around us. This saving, ennobling influence has been very feeble at —–. Many have mingled with the world and partaken of its spirit and influence, and its friendship has separated them from God. Jesus has passed a day’s journey in advance of them. They can no longer hear His voice of counsel and warning, and they follow their own wisdom and judgment. They follow a course which appears right in their own eyes, but which afterward proves to be folly. God will

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not allow His work to be mixed with worldly policy. Shrewd, calculating men of the world are not the men to take leading positions in this most solemn, sacred work. They must either be converted, or engage in that calling which is appropriate to their world-loving inclinations, and which does not involve such eternal consequences. God will never enter into partnership with worldlings. Christ gives everyone his choice: Will you have Me or the world? Will you suffer reproach and shame, be peculiar, and zealous of good works, even if hated of the world, and take My name, or will you choose the esteem, the honor, the applause and profits the world has to give, and have no part in Me? “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” {2T 149.2}

Chap. 24 – Oppressing the Hireling

Dear Brother J: A great solemnity has rested upon my mind since the vision given Friday evening, June 12, 1868. I was shown that you do not know yourself. You have not felt reconciled to the testimony given in your case and have not made thorough work to reform. I was referred to Isaiah: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” If you do these things, the blessings promised will be given. {2T 156.1}

You may raise the inquiry, “Wherefore have we fasted,” “and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” God has given reasons why your prayers were not answered. You have thought that you had found reasons in others and have charged the fault upon them. But I saw that there are sufficient reasons in yourself. You have a work to do to set your own heart in order. You should realize that the work must begin with yourself. You have oppressed the destitute and have benefited yourself by taking advantage of their necessities. In regard

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to means, you have been close and dealt unjustly. You have not possessed that kind, noble, and generous spirit which should ever characterize the life of a follower of Christ. You have oppressed the hireling in her wages. You saw a poorly clad, hard-working person who you knew was conscientious and God-fearing; yet you took advantage of her because you could do so. I saw that the neglect of seeing and understanding her wants, and the small wages paid her, are all written in heaven as done to Jesus in the person of one of His saints. As you have done this unto the least of Christ’s disciples, you have done it unto Him. Heaven has regarded all your closeness to those who have served in your house, and it will stand faithfully chronicled against you unless it is repented of and restitution made. One wrong move does more harm than can be undone in years; if the wrongdoer could see the extent of the evil, it would wring from his soul cries of anguish. You are selfish in regard to means. In the case of Brother K the angel of God pointed to you and said: “Inasmuch as ye have done this to one of Christ’s disciples, ye have done it to Jesus in His person.” {2T 156.2}

The cases I have mentioned are not the only ones. I would you could see these things as Heaven has opened them before me. There is a sad deception upon minds. It is the religion of Christ that you need. He pleased not Himself, but lived to benefit others. You have a work to do, and should lose no time in humbling your heart before God, and by humble confessions remove the blots from your Christian character. Then can you engage in the solemn work of laboring for the salvation of others without making so many mistakes. {2T 157.1}

What has your time amounted to, spent as it has been spent while engaged in a work which God did not set you about? Impressions have been made on minds, and experiences gained, which it will require much labor for them to efface.

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Souls will wander in darkness, perplexity, and unbelief, and some will never recover. With fasting and earnest prayer, with deep heart searching, stern self-examination, lay bare the soul; let no act escape your critical examination. Then, with self dead and your life hid with Christ in God, offer your humble petitions. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear you. If He had heard your prayers, you would have been exalted. Satan has stood by, prepared to make the most of the advantage he has gained. {2T 157.2}

Oh, how important it is that faithfulness in little things characterize our lives, that true integrity mark all our course of action, and that we ever bear in mind that angels of God are taking cognizance of every act! That which we mete to others shall be meted to us again. A fearfulness should ever attend you lest you should deal unjustly, selfishly. By sickness and adversity the Lord will remove from us much more than we obtain by grinding the face of the poor. A just God truly estimates all our motives and actions. {2T 158.1}

I was shown Brother and Sister L. The love of the world has so eaten out true godliness and benumbed the powers of the mind that the truth fails to have a transforming influence upon the life and character. The love of the world has closed their hearts to compassion and to a consideration of the wants of others; its spirit has separated them from God. Brother and sister, you have a work to do to get from beneath the rubbish of the world; you need to make earnest efforts to overcome your love of the world, your selfishness, and your penuriousness. These are sins which are cursing God’s people. I was pointed back to the community in which you lived previous to your moving to —–. You were close and exacting in deal there, taking advantage every time that you could well do so. I tried to find in your lives acts of noble self-sacrifice and benevolence, but could not, they were so rare. Your light has

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shone before others in such a manner that they have felt disgusted with you and your faith. The truth has been reproached by your closeness and overreaching in deal. May God help you to see all, and to have that hatred for this evil that He has. Let your light so shine that others by seeing your good works may be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven. God has been displeased with your course, for it has been marked by self-interest. He is still displeased with it, and will deal with you in judgment, unless you rid yourself of this spirit of littleness, and seek to be sanctified through the truth. Faith without works is dead, being alone. Faith will never save you unless it is justified by works. God requires of you to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life. {2T 158.2}

I was shown that you have oppressed hirelings in their wages. You have taken advantage of circumstances and secured your help at the lowest figure. This has not been pleasing to God. You should have paid your help liberally, all that they earned. God sees and knows. The Searcher of hearts is acquainted with the thoughts, the intents and purposes of the heart. Every dollar that has been gained by you in this way, if retained, will be scattered through adversity and affliction. The world, the world, the world, has been the order of the day with you. The salvation of the soul has become secondary. Oh, that you could see, in the light of eternity, just how God views these things. You would be alarmed and would not rest until you had made restitution. {2T 159.1}

You had light upon health reform, but you did not receive and live up to it. You gratified the appetite and taught your boy a sad lesson by indulging him in eating when and what he chose. In your love for the world you continued to work upon the high-pressure plan. The hand of God was removed,

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and you were left to your own weakness. Then you both tottered over the brink of the grave, yet you failed to learn the lesson in many things which God would have you learn. You retained your love for the world. Your selfish love for gain, your small, close dealing, was not put away. You did not appreciate the sympathy, kind care, and watchful tenderness of the one who had the care of you in your sickness. If you had, it would have led you to manifest a spirit of noble benevolence above any cheap dealing with her who had been true to you. You have ground the face of the poor; you havedealt unjustly. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” {2T 159.2}

It seemed to me, as these things were presented before me, that Satan had possessed such power to blind minds through a love of the world, that even professed Christians forgot, or lost all sense of the fact that God lives and that His angels are making a record of all the doings of the children of men; that every mean act, every small deal, is placed upon the life record. Every day bears its burden of record of unfulfilled duties, of neglect, of selfishness, of deception, of fraud, of overreaching. What an amount of evil works is accumulating for the final judgment! When Christ shall come, “His reward is with Him, and His work before Him,” to render to every man according as his works have been. What a revelation will then be made! What confusion of face to some as the acts of their lives are revealed upon the pages of history! {2T 160.1}

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? But ye have despised the poor.” “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

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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.” You may believe all the truth; yet if its principles are not carried out in your lives, your profession will not save you. Satan believes and trembles. He works. He knows his time is short, and he has come down in great power to do his evil works according to his faith. But God’s professed people do not support their faith by their works. They believe in the shortness of time, yet grasp just as eagerly after this world’s goods as though the world were to stand a thousand years as it now is. {2T 160.2}

Selfishness marks the course of many. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” {2T 161.1}

Divest yourselves of selfishness and make thorough work for eternity. Redeem the past and do not represent the holy truth you profess where you now live as you have where you have lived hitherto. Let your light so shine that others by seeing your good works may be led to glorify our Father in heaven. Stand upon the elevated platform of eternal truth. Regulate all your business transactions in this life in strict accordance with the word of God. {2T 161.2}

Chap. 28 – Worldliness in the Church

Dear Brethren and Sisters in —–: June 12, 1868, I was shown that the love of the world was to a great extent taking the place of love to God. You are situated in a pleasant country, one that is favorable to worldly prosperity. This places you where you are in constant danger of having your interest swallowed up in the world, in laying up treasure upon the earth. Your hearts will be where your treasure is. You are situated where there are temptations to be plunging deeper and deeper into the world, to be continually accumulating; and while you are thus engaged, the mind becomes engrossed with the cares of this life to such an extent as to shut out true godliness. But few realize the deceitfulness of riches. Those who are anxious to acquire means are so bent upon this one object as to make the religion of Christ a secondary matter. Spiritual things are not valued and are not sought after, for the love of gain has eclipsed the heavenly treasure. If the prize of eternal life were to be valued by the zeal, perseverance, and earnestness exhibited by those who profess to be Christians, it would not be half as valuable as earthly possessions. Compare the earnest effort made to obtain the things of this earth with the languid, weak, inefficient

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effort to gain spirituality and a heavenly treasure. No wonder that we experience so little of the illuminating influence from the heavenly sanctuary. Our desires are not in that direction; they are mostly confined to earthly pursuits, seeking for worldly things, and neglecting the eternal. Prosperity is blinding the eyes and deceiving the soul. God may speak, but the rubbish of earth prevents His voice from being heard. {2T 183.1}

Our aged father T has his affections upon the things of this earth when they should be removed and he be ripening up for heaven. The life that he now lives he should live by faith in the Son of God; his affections should be on the better land. He should have less and less interest in the perishable treasures of earth, while eternal things, which are of the greatest consequence, should engage his whole interest. The days of his probation are nearly ended. Oh, how little time remains to devote to God! His energies are worn, his mind broken, and at best his services must be weak; yet if given heartily and fully, they are wholly acceptable. With your age, Brother T, has come an increase of selfishness and a more firm, earnest love for the treasures of this poor world. {2T 184.1}

Sister T loves this world. She is naturally selfish. She has suffered much with bodily infirmities. God permitted this affliction to come upon her, and yet would not permit Satan to take her life. God designed through the furnace of affliction to loosen her grasp upon earthly treasures. Through suffering alone could this be done. She is one of those whose systems have been poisoned by drugs. By taking these she has ignorantly made herself what she is; yet God did not suffer her life to be taken, but le ngthened her years of probation and suffering that she might become sanctified through the truth, be purified, made white and tried, and, through the furnace of affliction, lose her dross, and become more precious than fine gold, even than the golden wedge of Ophir. Love of the

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world has become so deeply rooted in the hearts of this brother and sister that it will require a severe trial to remove it. Dear brother and sister, you lack devotion to God. You are insane in regard to worldly things. The world has power to conform your mind to it, while the spiritual and heavenly do not bear with sufficient weight to transform the mind. {2T 184.2}

Men and women in —– who profess to be Christ’s followers, why do you not follow Him? Why do you exhibit such insanity to acquire an earthly treasure, which misfortune can so easily remove, and neglect the riches of heaven, the immortal, imperishable treasure? {2T 185.1}

I was shown the case of Brother U’s wife. She has a desire to do right, but has failings which cause herself and her friends much trouble. She talks too much. She lacks experience in the things of God, and unless she is converted and transformed by the renewing of the mind, she will be unable to stand amid the perils of the last days. Heart work is needed. Then the tongue will be sanctified. There is much talking which is sinful and should be avoided. She should set a strict watch before the door of he r lips and keep her tongue as with a bridle, that her words may not work wickedness. She should cease talking of others’ faults, dwelling upon others’ peculiarities, and discovering others’ infirmities. Such conversation is censurable in any person. It is unprofitable and positively sinful. It tends only to evil. The enemy knows that if this course is pursued by Christ’s professed followers, it is opening a door for him to work.{2T 185.2}

I saw that when sisters who are given to talk get together, Satan is generally present, for he finds employment. He stands by to excite the mind and make the most of the advantage he has gained. He knows that all this gossip, and tale-bearing, and revealing of secrets, and dissecting of character, separate the soul from God. It is death to spirituality and a

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calm religious influence. Sister U sins greatly with her tongue. She ought by her words to have an influence for good, but she frequently talks at random. Sometimes her words put a different construction upon things than they will bear. Sometimes there is exaggeration. Then there is misstatement. There is no intention to misstate, but the habit of much talking and talking upon things that are unprofitable has been so long cherished that she has become careless and reckless in her words, and frequently does not know what she is stating herself. This destroys any influence for good she might have. It is time there was an entire reform in this respect. Her society has not been prized as it would have been had she not indulged in this sinful talking. {2T 185.3}

Christians should be careful in regard to their words. They should never carry unfavorable reports from one of their friends to another, especially if they are aware that there is a lack of union between them. It is cruel to hint and insinuate, as though you knew a great deal in regard to this friend or that acquaintance of which others are ignorant. Such hints go further, and create more unfavorable impressions, than to frankly relate the facts in an unexaggerated manner. What harm has not the church of Christ suffered from these things! The inconsistent, unguarded course of her members has made her weak as water. Confidence has been betrayed by members of the same church, and yet the guilty did not design to do mischief. Lack of wisdom in the selection of subjects of conversation has done much harm. The conversation should be upon spiritual and divine things; but it has been otherwise. If the association with Christian friends is chiefly devoted to the improvement of the mind and heart, there will be n o after regrets, and they can look back on the interview with a pleasant satisfaction. But if the hours are spent in levity and vain talking, and the precious time is employed in dissecting the lives and character of others, the friendly intercourse will

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prove a source of evil, and your influence will be a savor of death unto death.{2T 186.1}

I cannot distinctly call to mind all the persons in your church who were shown me;but I saw that many had a great work to perform. There is too much talking by nearly all, and too little meditation and prayer. With many there is too much selfishness. The mind is devoted to self and not to the good of others. Satan’s power is upon you in a great degree. Yet there are precious lights among you, and those who are seeking to walk according to the will of God. Pride and the love of the world are the snares which are so great a hindrance to spirituality and a growth in grace. {2T 187.1}

This world is not the Christian’s heaven, but merely the workshop of God, where we are to be fitted up to unite with sinless angels in a holy heaven. We should be constantly training the mind to noble, unselfish thoughts. This education is necessary t o so bring into exercise the powers which God has given us that His name shall best be glorified upon the earth. We are accountable for all the noble qualities which God has given us, and to put these faculties to a use He never designed we should is showing base ingratitude to Him. The service of God demands all the powers of our being, and we fail of meeting the design of God unless we bring these powers to a high state of cultivation, and educate the mind to love to contemplate heavenly things, andstrengthen and ennoble the energies of the soul by right actions, operating to the glory of God. {2T 187.2}

Women professing godliness generally fail to train the mind. They leave it uncontrolled, to go where it will. This is a great mistake. Many seem to have no mental power. They have not educated the mind to think; and because they have not done this, they suppose they cannot. Meditation and prayer are necessary to a growth in grace. Why there is no more stability among women is because of so little mental

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culture, so little reflection. Leaving the mind in a state of inaction, they lean upon others to do the brainwork, to plan, and think, and remember for them, and thus grow more and more inefficient. Some need to discipline the mind by exercise. They should force it to think. While they depend upon someone to think for them, to solve their difficulties, and they refuse to tax the mind with thought, the inability to remember, to look ahead and discriminate, will continue. Efforts must be made by every individual to educate the mind. {2T 187.3}

I was shown that Brother V should seek for more spirituality. You do not possess that calm trust in God which He requires you to have. You do not train the mind to run in the channel of spirituality. You indulge in too much vain, unnecessary talk, which injures your own soul and injures your influence. You must encourage calmness and fortitude of mind. You are easily excited; you have strong feelings, and express in strong terms your likes and dislikes. You need more good religion to have a soothing influence upon you. You have been invited to learn of Christ, who is meek and lowly of heart. Precious lesson! If well learned, it will transform the whole life. Lightness and cheap talk are injurious to your spiritual advancement. You should seek after perfection of character and let your influence tell for God in your words and acts. You need to earnestly seek the Lord and to take a deeper draught at the fountain of truth, that its influence may sanctify your life. Your mind is too much on the world. You should have your interest in the better life than this. You have no time to lose; make haste and improve the few hours of probation. {2T 188.1}

Your wife has had too much pride and selfishness. God has been bringing her through the furnace of affliction to remove these spots from her character. She must be very careful that the fire of affliction does not kindle upon her in

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vain. It should remove the dross and bring her nearer to God, making her more spiritual. Her love of the world must die. Love of self must be overcome and her will swallowed up in the will of God. {2T 188.2}

I was shown that love of the world has to a great extent shut Jesus from the church. God calls for a change, a surrender of all to Him. Unless the mind is educated to dwell upon religious themes, it will be weak and feeble in this direction. But while dwelling upon worldly enterprises, it will be strong; for in this direction it has been cultivated, and has strengthened with exercise. The reason it is so difficult for men and women to live religious lives is because they do not exercise the mind unto godliness. It is trained to run in an opposite direction. Unless the mind is constantly exercised in obtaining spiritual knowledge and in seeking to understand the mystery of godliness, it is incapable of appreciating eternal things because it has no experience in that direction. This is the reason why nearly all consider it uphill business to serve the Lord. {2T 189.1}

When the heart is divided, dwelling principally upon things of the world, and but little upon the things of God, there can be no special increase of spiritual strength. Worldly enterprises claim the larger share of the mind, calling into exercise its powers; therefore in this direction there is strength and power to claim more and more of the interest and affections, while less and less is reserved to devote to God. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is not a special exercise of the mind. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. Secret prayer is very important; in solitude the soul is laid bare to the inspecting eye of God, and every motive is scrutinized. Secret prayer! How precious! The soul communing with God! Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the

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burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. Calmly, yet fervently, will it reach out after God. Secret prayer is frequently perverted, and its sweet designs lost, by loud vocal prayer. Instead of the calm, quiet trust and faith in God, the soul drawn out in low, humble tones, the voice is raised to a loud pitch, and excitement is encouraged, and secret prayer loses its softening, sacred influence. There is a storm of feeling, a storm of words, making it impossible to discern the still, small voice that speaks to the soul while engage d in its secret, true, heartfelt devotion. Secret prayer, properly carried out, is productive of great good. But prayer which is made public to the entire family and neighborhood is not secret prayer, even though thought to be, and divine strength is not received from it. Sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who seeth in secret, whose ear is open to answer the prayer arising from the heart. By calm, simple faith the soul holds communion with God and gathers to itself divine rays of light to strengthen and sustain it to endure the conflicts of Satan. God is our tower of strength. {2T 189.2}

Jesus has left us word: “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.We are waiting and watching for the return of the Master, who is to bring the morning, lest coming suddenly He find us sleeping. What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven to find a people asleep. No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when He lays off His priestly attire and clothes Himself with garments of vengeance, and when the mandate goes forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous,

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let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” {2T 190.1}

When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. This is the time of reckoning with His servants. To those who have neglected the preparation of purity and holiness, which fits them to be waiting ones to welcome their Lord, th e sun sets in gloom and darkness, and rises not again. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. They became weary of waiting and watching; they became indifferent in regard to the coming of their Master. They longed not for His appearing, and thought there was no need of such continued, persevering watching. They had been disappointed in their expectations and might be again. They concluded that there was time enough yet to arouse. They would be sure not to lose the opportunity of securing an earthly treasure. It would be safe to get all of this world they could. And in securing this object, they lost all anxiety and interest in the appearing of the Master. They became indifferent and careless, as though His coming were yet in the distance. But while their interest was buried up in their worldly gains, the work closed in the heavenly sanctuary, and they were unprepared. {2T 191.1}

If such had only known that the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary would close so soon, how differently would they have conducted themselves, how earnestly would they have watched! The Master, anticipating all this, gives them timely warning in the command to watch. He distinctly states the suddenness of His coming. He does not measure the time, lest we shall neglect a momentary preparation, and in our indolence look ahead to the time when we think He will come, and defer the preparation. “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not.” Yet this foretold uncertainty, and suddenness

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at last, fails to rouse us from stupidity to earnest wakefulness, and to quicken our watchfulness for our expected Master. Those not found waiting and watching are finally surprised in their unfaithfulness. The Master comes, and instead of their being ready to open unto Him immediately, they are locked in worldly slumber, and are lost at last.
{2T 191.2}

A company was presented before me in contrast to the one described. They were waiting and watching. Their eyes were directed heavenward, and the words of their Master were upon their lips: “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” The Lord intimates a delay before the morning finally dawns. But He would not have them give way to weariness, nor relax their earnest watchfulness, because the morning does not open upon them as soon as they expected. The waiting ones were represented to me as looking upward. They were encouraging one another by repeating these words: “The first and second watches are past. We are in the third watch, waiting and watching for the Master’s return. There remains but a little period of watching now.”I saw some becoming weary; their eyes were directed downward, and they were engrossed with earthly things, and were unfaithful in watching. They were saying: “In the first watch we expected our Master, but were disappointed. We thought surely He would come in the second watch, but that passed, and He came not. We may be again disappointed. We need not be so particular. He may not come in the following watch. We are in the third watch, and now we think it best to lay up our treasure on the earth, that we may be secure against want.” Many were sleeping, stupefied with the cares of this life and allured by the deceitfulness of riches from their waiting, watching position. {2T 192.1}

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Angels were represented to me as looking on with intense interest to mark the appearance of the weary yet faithful watchers, lest they be too sorely tried, and sink under the toil and hardships made doubly severe because their brethren had been diverted from their watch, and become drunk with worldly cares and beguiled by worldly prosperity. These heavenly angels grieved that those who were once watching should, by their indolence and unfaithfulness, increase the trial and burdens of those who were earnestly and perseveringly endeavoring to maintain their waiting, watching position. {2T 193.1}

I saw that it was impossible to have the affections and interests engrossed in worldly cares, to be increasing earthly possessions, and yet be in a waiting, watching position, as our Saviour has commanded. Said the angel: “They can secure but one world. In order to acquire the heavenly treasure, they must sacrifice the earthly. They cannot have both worlds.” I saw how necessary a continuance of faithfulness in watching was in order to escape the delusive snares of Satan. He leads those who should be waiting and watching, to take an advance step toward the world; they have no intention of going further, but that one step removed them that much further from Jesus, and made it easier to take the next; and thus step after step is taken toward the world, until all the difference between them and the world is a profession, a name only. They have lost their peculiar, holy character, and there is nothing except their profession to distinguish them from the lovers of the world around them. {2T 193.2}

I saw that watch after watch was in the past. Because of this, should there be a lack of vigilance? Oh, no! There is the greater necessity of unceasing watchfulness, for now the moments are fewer than before the passing of the first watch. Now the per iod of waiting is necessarily shorter than at first. If we watched with unabated vigilance then, how much more

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need of double watchfulness in the second watch. The passing of the second watch has brought us to the third, and now it is inexcusable to abate our watchfulness. The third watch calls for threefold earnestness. To become impatient now would be to lose all our earnest, persevering watching heretofore. The long night of gloom is trying; but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God’s unwillingness to have His people perish has been the reason for so long delay. But the coming of the morning to the faithful, an d of the night to the unfaithful, is right upon us. By waiting and watching, God’s people are to manifest their peculiar character, their separation from the world. By our watching position we are to show that we are truly strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. The difference between those who love the world and those who love Christ is so plain as to be unmistakable. While worldlings are all earnestness and ambition to secure earthly treasure, God’s people are not conformed to the world, but show by their earnest, watching, waiting position that they are transformed; that their home is not in this world, but that they are seeking a better country, even a heavenly. {2T 193.3}

I hope, my dear brethren and sisters, that you will not pass your eye over these words without thoroughly considering their import. As the men of Galilee stood looking steadfastly toward heaven, to catch, if possible, a glimpse of their ascending Saviour, two men in white apparel, heavenly angels commissioned to comfort them for the loss of the presence of their Saviour, stood by them and inquired: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” {2T 194.1}

God designs that His people shall fix their eyes heavenward, looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While the attention of worldlings is

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turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus. The scoffers mock the waiting, watching ones, and inquire: “Where is the promise of His coming? You have been disappointed. Engage now with us, and you will prosper in worldly things. Get gain,get money, and be honored of the world.” The waiting ones look upward and answer: “We are watching.” And by turning from earthly pleasure and worldly fame, and from the deceitfulness of riches, they show themselves to be in that position. By watching they become strong; they overcome sloth and selfishness and love of ease. Affliction’s fire kindles upon them, and the waiting time seems long. They sometimes grieve, and faith falters; but they rally again, overcome their fears and doubts, and while their eyes are directed heavenward, say to their adversaries: “I am watching, I am waiting the return of my Lord. I will glory in tribulation, in affliction, in necessities.” {2T 194.2}

The desire of our Lord is that we should be watching, so that when He cometh and knocketh we may open to Him immediately. A blessing is pronounced upon those servants whom He finds watching. “He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Who among us in these last days will be thus specially honored by the Master of assemblies? Are we prepared without delay to open to Him immediately and welcome Him in? Watch, watch, watch. Nearly all have ceased their watching and waiting; we are not ready to open to Him immediately. The love of the world has so occupied our thoughts that our eyes are not turned upward, but downward to the earth. We are hurrying about, engaging with zeal and earnestness in different enterprises, but God is forgotten, and

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the heavenly treasure is not valued. We are not in a waiting, watching position. The love of the world and the deceitfulness of riches eclipse our faith, and we do not long for, and love, the appearing of our Saviour. We try too hard to take care of self ourselves. We are uneasy and greatly lack a firm trust in God. Many worry and work, contrive and plan, fearing they may suffer need. They cannot afford time to pray or to attend religious meetings and, in their care for themselves, leave no chance for God to care for them. And the Lord does not do much for them, for they give Him no opportunity. They do too much for themselves, and believe and trust in God too little. {2T 195.1}

The love of the world has a terrible hold upon the people whom the Lord has commanded to watch and pray always, lest coming suddenly He find them sleeping. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” {2T 196.1}

I have been shown that God’s people who profess to believe present truth are not in a waiting, watching position. They are increasing in riches and are laying up their treasures upon the earth. They are becoming rich in worldly things, but not rich to ward God. They do not believe in the shortness of time; they do not believe that the end of all things is at hand, that Christ is at the door. They may profess much faith; but they deceive their own souls, for they will act out all the faith that they really possess. Their works show the character of their faith and testify to those around them that the coming of Christ is not to be in this generation. According to their faith will be their works. Their preparations are being made to remain in this world. They are adding house

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to house, and land to land, and are citizens of this world. {2T 196.2}

The condition of poor Lazarus feeding upon the crumbs from the rich man’s table is preferable to that of these professors. If they possessed genuine faith, instead of increasing their treasures upon the earth they would be selling off, freeing themselves from the cumbersome things of earth and transferring their treasure before them to heaven. Then their interest and hearts will be there, for the heart of man will be where his greatest treasure is. Most of those who profess to believe the truth testify that that which they value the most is in this world. For this they have care, wearing anxiety, and labor. To preserve and add to their treasure is the study of their lives. They have transferred so little to heaven, have taken so little stock in the heavenly treasure, that their minds are not specially attracted to that better country. They have taken large stock in the enterprises of this earth, and these investments, like the magnet, draw down their minds from the heavenly and imperishable to the earthly and corruptible. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” {2T 197.1}

Selfishness girds many about as with iron bands. It is “my farm,” “my goods,” “mytrade,” “my merchandise.” Even the claims of common humanity are disregarded by them. Men and women professing to be waiting and loving the appearing of their Lord are shut up to self. The noble, the godlike, they have parted with. The love of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, have so fastened upon them that they are blinded. They are corrupted by the world and discern it not. They talk of love to God, but their fruits show not the love they express. They rob Him in tithes and offerings, and the withering curse of God is upon them. The truth has been illuminating their pathway on every side. God has wrought wonderfully in the salvation of souls in their own households, but where are their offerings, presented to Him in grateful thanks for all His tokens of mercy to them? Many

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of them are as unthankful as the brute creation. The sacrifice for man was infinite, beyond the comprehension of the strongest intellect, yet men who claim to be partakers of these heavenly benefits, which were brought to them at so great a cost, are too thoroughly selfish to make any real sacrifice for God. Their minds are upon the world, the world, the world. In the forty-ninth psalm we read: “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any meansredeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him (for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever).” If all would bear in mind, and could in a small degree appreciate, the immense sacrifice made by Christ, they would feel rebuked for their fearfulness and their supreme selfishness. “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Because of selfishness and love of the world, God is forgotten, and many have barrenness of soul, and cry: “My leanness, my leanness.” The Lord has lent means to His people to prove them, to test the depth of their professed love for Him. Some would let go of Him and give up their heavenly treasure rather than to decrease their earthly possessions and make a covenant with Him by sacrifice. He calls for them to sacrifice; but the love of the world closes their ears, and they will not hear. {2T 197.2}

I looked to see who of those who professed to be looking for Christ’s coming possessed a willingness to sacrifice offerings to God of their abundance. I could see a few humble poor ones who, like the poor widow, were stinting themselves and casting in their mite. Every such offering is accounted of

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God as precious treasure. But those who are acquiring means, and adding to their possessions, are far behind. They do comparatively nothing to what they might. They are withholding, and robbing God, for they are fearful they shall come to want. They dare not trust God. This is one of the reasons that, as a people, we are so sickly and so many are falling into their graves. The covetous are among us. Lovers of the world, also those who have stinted the laborer in his hire, are among us. Men who had none of this world, who were poor and dependent on their labor, have been dealt with closely and unjustly. The lover of the world, with a hard face and harder heart, has grudgingly paid over the small sum earned by hard toil. Just so they are dealing with their Master, whose servants they profess to be. Just in this grudging manner do they put into the treasury of God. The man in the parable had not where to bestow his goods, and the Lord cut short his unprofitable life. So will He deal with many. How difficult, in this corrupt age, to keep from growing worldly and selfish. How easy to become ungrateful to the Giver of all our mercies. Great watchfulness is needed, and much prayer, to keep the soul with all diligence. “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” {2T 198.1}

Chap. 37 – Severity in Family Government

Brother L: Last June I was shown that there is a work before you to correct your ways. You do not see yourself. Your life has been a mistake. You do not pursue a wise and merciful course in your family. You are exacting. If you continue to pursue the course that you have been pursuing toward your wife and children, her days will be shortened, and your children will fear, but not love, you. You feel that your course is in Christian wisdom, but in this you deceive yourself. {2T 253.1}

You have peculiar views in regard to managing your family. You exercise an independent, arbitrary power which permits no liberty of will around you. You think yourself sufficient to be head in your family, and feel that your head is sufficient to move every member, as a machine is moved in the hands of the workmen. You dictate and assume authority. This displeases Heaven and grieves the pitying angels. You have conducted yourself in your family as though you alone were capable of self-government. It has offended you that your wife should venture to oppose your opinion or question your decisions. {2T 253.2}

After much long-suffering on her part, and patient waiting upon your whims, she has rebelled against unjust authority, and has become nervous and distracted, and shown contempt for your course. You have made the most of these manifestations on her part, and have charged her with sin and being led by the spirit of the devil, when you were the one at fault. You drove her almost to desperation, and afterward taunted her

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with it. How easy it would have been for you to have made her life cheerful and pleasant. But it has been the opposite of this. {2T 253.3}

You have been rather indolent. You have not been ambitious to exercise the strength the Lord has given you. This is your capital. A judicious use of this strength, and persevering, industrious habits, would have enabled you to obtain the comforts of life. You have erred, and thought it was pride which led your wife to desire to have things more comfortable around her. She has been stinted and dealt closely with by you. She needs a more generous diet, a more plentiful supply of food upon her table; and in her house she needs things as comfortable and convenient as you can make them, things to make her work as easy as possible. But you have viewed matters from a wrong standpoint. You have thought that almost anything which could be eaten was good enough, if you could live upon it and retain strength. You have pleaded the necessity of spare diet to your feeble wife. But she cannot make good blood or flesh upon the diet to which you could confine yourself, and flourish. Some persons cannot subsist upon the same food upon which others can do well, even though it be prepared in the same manner. {2T 254.1}

You are in danger of becoming an extremist. Your system could convert a very coarse, poor diet into good blood. Your blood-making organs are in good condition. But your wife requires a more select diet. Let her eat the same food which your system could convert into good blood, and her system could not appropriate it. She lacks vitality, and needs a generous, strengthening diet. She should have a good supply of fruit, and not be confined to the same things from day to day. She has a slender hold of life. She is diseased, and the wants of her system are far different from those of a healthy person. {2T 254.2}

Brother L, you possess considerable dignity, but have you

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earned that dignity? Oh, no! You have assumed it. You have loved your ease. You and hard work have not agreed. Had you not been slothful in business, you could have had many of the comforts of life which you cannot now command. You have wronged your wife and your children by your indolent habits. Hours which should have been occupied in earnest labor have been passed away by you in talking and reading, and taking your ease. {2T 254.3}

You are just as accountable for your capital of strength as the wealthy man is for his riches. Both of you are stewards. To each is committed a work. You are not to abuse your strength, but to use it to acquire that with which you may liberally supply the wants of your family, and have wherewith to render to God by aiding in the cause of present truth. You have been aware of the existence of pride, and show, and vanity in —–, and have felt determined that your example should not countenance this pride and extravagance. In your effort to do this, your sin has been as great on the other side. {2T 255.1}

You have been greatly at fault in your religious experience. You have stood to one side as a looker-on, as a spectator, watching the deficiencies and faults of others, and building yourself up because you see wrongs in them. You have been careful, and upright in deal, and as you have seen slackness in this respect in others who make a high profession, you have contrasted their wrong with your principles in reference to deal, and have said in your heart, “I am better than they,” while at the same time you were standing off from the church, watching and finding fault, yet doing nothing, not coming up to the help of the Lord, to remedy the evil. You had a standard by which you measured others. If they failed to meet your idea, your sympathy was not with them, and you had a self-complacent feeling in regard to yourself. {2T 255.2}

You have been exacting in your religious experience.

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Should God deal with you as you would have dealt with those you supposed in error in the church, and as you have dealt with your own family, your condition would be bad indeed. But a merciful God, who is of tender pity, whose loving-kindness changeth not, has been forgiving, and has not cast you aside nor cut you off for your transgressions, your numerous errors and backsliding. Oh, no! He has loved you still. {2T 255.3}

Have you really considered that “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”? You have seen pride, and vanity, and a world-loving spirit in some who profess to be Christians in —–. This is a great evil; and because this spirit is indulged, angels are grieved. Those who thus follow the example of the unconsecrated are exerting an influence to scatter from Christ, and are gathering in their garments the blood of souls. If they continue the same course they will lose their own souls, and will know one day what it is to feel the terrible weight of other souls who have been led astray by their unconsecration, while professing to be governed by religious principles. {2T 256.1}

You have just reason to be grieved with the pride and lack of simplicity in those who profess better things. But you have watched others, and talked of their errors and wrongs, and neglected your own soul. You are not accountable for any of the sins of your brethren, unless your example has caused them to stumble, caused their feet to be diverted from the narrow path. You have a great and solemn work before you to control and subdue yourself, to become meek and lowly of heart, to educate yourself to be tenderhearted, pitiful in your family, and to possess that nobleness of spirit and true generosity of soul which despises everything niggardly. {2T 256.2}

You have thought that there was too much work put upon the meetinghouse, and have remarked upon the unnecessary expense. It is needless in you to have these special conscientious

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scruples. There is nothing in that house which is prepared with too much care, neatness, or order. The work is none too nice. The arrangement is not extravagant. Do those who are ready to complain of this house of worship consider for whom it was built? that it was made especially to be the house of God; to be dedicated to Him; to be a place where the people assemble to meet God? Many act as though the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He who has made everything that is lovely and beautiful in our world, would be pleased to see a house erected for Him without order or beauty. Some build large, convenient houses for themselves, but cannot afford to spend much upon a house which they are to dedicate to God. Every dollar of the means in their hands is the Lord’s. He has lent it to them for a little while, to use to His glory; yet they hand out this means for the advancement of the cause of God as though every dollar thus expended were a total loss. {2T 256.3}

God would not have His people expend means extravagantly for show or ornament, but He would have them observe neatness, order, taste, and plain beauty in preparing a house for Him in which He is to meet with His people. Those who build a house for God should manifest as much greater interest, care, and taste in its arrangement as the object for which it is prepared is higher and more holy than that for which common dwelling houses are prepared. {2T 257.1}

The Lord reads the intents and purposes of men. Those who have exalted views of His character will feel it their highest pleasure to have everything which has any connection with Him of the very best work and displaying the very best taste. But those who can grudgingly build a poorer house to dedicate to God than they would accept to live in themselves show their lack of reverence for God and for sacred things. Their work shows that their own temporal concerns are of more value in their eyes than matters of a spiritual nature.

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Eternal things are made secondary. It is not considered essential to have good and convenient things to use in the service of God, but they are considered highly essential in the concerns of this life. Men will reveal the true moral tone of the principles of their hearts. {2T 257.2}

Many of our people have become narrowed in their views. Order, neatness, taste, and convenience are termed pride and love of the world. A mistake is made here. Vain pride, which is exhibited in gaudy trappings and needless ornaments, is not pleasing to God. But He who created for man a beautiful world, and planted a lovely garden in Eden with every variety of trees for fruit and beauty, and who decorated the earth with most lovely flowers of every description and hue, has given tangible proofs that He is pleased with the beautiful. Yet He will accept the most humble offering from the poorest, weakest child, if he has no better to present. It is the sincerity of the soul that the Lord accepts. The man who has God enshrined in his heart, exalted above all , will be led to a thorough submission of his will to God, and will make an entire surrender of himself to His rule and reign. {2T 258.1}

Shortsighted mortals do not comprehend the ways and works of God. Their eyes are not directed upward to Him as they should be. They do not have exalted views of eternal things. They only look at these things with a clouded vision. They take no special delight in contemplating the love of God, the glory and splendor of heaven, the exalted character of the holy angels, the majesty and inexpressible loveliness of Jesus, our Redeemer. They have so long kept earthly things before their vision that eternal scenes are vague and indistinct to them. They have limited views of God, heaven, and eternity. {2T 258.2}

Sacred things are brought down upon a level with common; therefore in their dealing with God they manifest the same close, penurious spirit as in dealing with their fellow

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men. Their offerings to the Lord are lame, sick, or deficient. They carry on the same robbery with Him that they have with their fellow men. Their minds do not reach up to an exalted moral standard, but remain on a low level; they are constantly breathing the impure miasma of the lowlands of earth. {2T 258.3}

Brother L, you rule with a rod of iron in your family. You are severe in the government of your children. You will not gain their love by this course of management. You are not tender, loving, affectionate, and courteous to your wife; but are harsh, and bear down upon her, blaming and censuring her. A well-regulated, orderly family is a pleasing sight to God and ministering angels. You must learn how to make a home orderly, comfortable, and pleasant. Then adorn that home with becoming dignity, and the spirit will be received by the children; and order, regularity, and obedience will be more readily secured by both of you. {2T 259.1}

Brother L, have you considered what a child is, and whither it is going? Your children are the younger members of the Lord’s family–brothers and sisters entrusted to your care by your heavenly Father for you to train and educate for heaven. When you are handling them so roughly as you have frequently done, do you consider that God will call you to account for this dealing? You should not use your children thus roughly. A child is not a horse or a dog to be ordered about according to your imperious will, or to be controlled under all circumstances by a stick or whip, or by blows with the hand. Some children are so vicious in their tempers that the infliction of pain is necessary, but very many cases are made much worse by this manner of discipline. {2T 259.2}

You should control yourself. Never correct your children while impatient or fretful, or while under the influence of passion. Punish them in love, manifesting the unwillingness you feel to cause them pain. Never raise your hand to give

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them a blow unless you can with a clear conscience bow before God and ask His blessing upon the correction you are about to give. Encourage love in the hearts of your children. Present before them high and correct motives for self-restraint. Do not give them the impression that they must submit to control because it is your arbitrary will; because they are weak, and you are strong; because you are the father, they the children. If you wish to ruin your family, continue to govern by brute force, and you will surely succeed. {2T 259.3}

Your wife is tenderhearted and easily agitated. She feels your harshness of discipline, and it leads her to the opposite extreme. She seeks to counteract your severity, and you charge this as a great lack in her of doing her duty and controlling her children. You think her indulgent, overfond, and tender. You cannot help her in this respect until you correct yourself and manifest that parental tenderness which you should in your family. It is your wrong management which leads your wife to be lax in her discipline. You must have your nature softened. You need to be refined by the influences of the Spirit of God. You need a thorough conversion; then you can work from the right standpoint. You need to let love into your soul and permit it to occupy the place of self-dignity; self must die. {2T 260.1}

Your wife needs tenderness and love. The Lord loves her. She is much nearer the kingdom of heaven than you. But she is dying by inches, and you are the one who is slowly taking her life. You can make her life happy if you will. You can encourage her to lean upon your large affections, to confide in you and love you. You are weaning her heart from you. She shrinks from opening to you all the emotions of her soul, for you have treated her feelings with contempt; you have ridiculed her fears and pompously advanced your opinion as though there were no appeal from that. Her respect for you

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will surely die if you continue the course you have commenced; and when respect is gone, love does not long abide. {2T 260.2}

I implore you to turn rightabout and humble yourself to confess that you have wronged your wife. She is not perfect. She has faults, but she sincerely desires to serve God and to patiently endure your course toward her and your children. You are quick to detect your wife’s errors, and when you can pick a flaw you will. She is weak; yet with her weaker strength she glorifies God better than you do with your stronger powers.
Battle Creek, Jan. 17, 1869.{2T 261.1}

Chap. 38 – A Birthday Letter

My Dear Son: I write this for your nineteenth birthday. It has been a pleasure to have you with us a few weeks in the past. You are about to leave us, yet our prayers shall follow you. {2T 261.2}

Another year of your life closes today. How can you look back upon it? Have you made advancement in the divine life? Have you increased in spirituality? Have you crucified self, with the affections and lusts? Have you an increased interest in the stud y of God’s word? Have you gained decided victories over your own failings and waywardness? Oh, what has been the record of your life for the year which has now passed into eternity, never to be recalled? {2T 261.3}

As you enter upon a new year, let it be with an earnest resolve to have your course onward and upward. Let your life be more elevated and exalted than it has hitherto been. Make it your aim not to seek your own interest and pleasure, but to advance th e cause of your Redeemer. Remain not in a position where you ever need help yourself, and where others

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have to guard you to keep you in the narrow way. You may be strong to exe rt a sanctifying influence upon others. You may be where your soul’s interest will be awakened to do good to others, to comfort the sorrowful, strengthen the weak, and to bear your testimony for Christ whenever opportunity offers. Aim to honor God in everything, always and everywhere. Carry your religion into everything. Be thorough in whatever you undertake. {2T 261.4}

You have not experienced the saving power of God as it is your privilege, because you have not made it the great aim of your life to glorify Christ. Let every purpose you form, every work in which you engage, and every pleasure you enjoy, be to the glory of God. Let this be the language of your heart: I am thine, O God, to live for Thee, to work for Thee, and to suffer for Thee. {2T 262.1}

Many profess to be on the Lord’s side, but they are not; the weight of all their actions is on Satan’s side. By what means shall we determine whose side we are on? Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Upon whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are on the Lord’s side, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. We have no friendship with the world; we have consecrated all that we have and are to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His Spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. {2T 262.2}

You should pursue so decided a course that none need to be mistaken in you. You cannot exert an influence upon the world without decision. Your resolutions may be good and sincere, but they will prove a failure unless you make God your strength and move forward with a firm determination of purpose. You should throw your whole heart into the cause and work of God. You should be in earnest to obtain an experience in the Christian life. You should exemplify Christ in your life. {2T 262.3}

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You cannot serve God and mammon. You are either wholly on the Lord’s side or on the side of the enemy. “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Some persons make their religious life a failure because they are always wavering and do not have determination. They are frequently convicted and come almost up to the point of surrendering all for God; but, failing to meet the point, they fall back again. While in this state the conscience is hardening and becoming less and less susceptible to the impressions of the Spirit of God. His Spirit has warned, has convicted, and has been disregarded, until it is nearly grieved away. God will not be trifled with. He shows duty clearly, and if there is a neglect to follow the light, it becomes darkness. {2T 263.1}

God bids you become a worker with Him in His vineyard. Commence just where you are. Come to the cross and there renounce self, the world, and every idol. Take Jesus into your heart fully. You are in a hard place to preserve consecration and to exert a n influence which shall lead others from sin and pleasure and folly to the narrow way, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. {2T 263.2}

Make an entire surrender to God; yield up everything unreservedly, and thus seek for that peace which passes understanding. You cannot draw nourishment from Christ unless you are in Him. If not in Him, you are a branch that is withered. You do not fee l your want of purity and true holiness. You should feel an earnest desire for the Holy Spirit and should pray earnestly to obtain it. You cannot expect the blessing of God without seeking for it. If you used the means within your reach you would experience a growth in grace and would rise to a higher life. {2T 263.3}

It is not natural for you to love spiritual things; but you can acquire that love by exercising your mind, the strength of your being, in that direction. The power of doing is what

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you need. True education is the power of using our faculties so as to achieve beneficial results. Why is it that religion occupies so little of our attention, while the world has the strength of brain, bone, and muscle? It is because the whole force of our being is bent in that direction. We have trained ourselves to engage with earnestness and power in worldly business, until it is easy for the mind to take that turn. This is why Christians find a religious life so hard and a worldly life so easy. The faculties have been trained to exert their force in that direction. In religious life there has been an assent to the truths of God’s word, but not a practical illustration of them in the life. {2T 263.4}

To cultivate religious thoughts and devotional feelings is not made a part of education. These should influence and control the entire being. The habit of doing right is wanting. There is spasmodic action under favorable influences, but to think naturally and readily upon divine things is not the ruling principle of the mind. {2T 264.1}

There is no need of being spiritual dwarfs if the mind is continually exercised in spiritual things. But merely praying for this, and about this, will not meet the necessities of the case. You must habituate the mind to concentration upon spiritual things. Exercise will bring strength. Many professed Christians are in a fair way to lose both worlds. To be half a Christian and half a worldly man makes you about one-hundredth part a Christian and all the rest worldly. {2T 264.2}

Spiritual living is what God requires, yet thousands are crying out: “I don’t know what is the matter; I have no spiritual strength, I do not enjoy the Spirit of God.” Yet the same ones will become active and talkative, and even eloquent, when talking upon worldly matters. Listen to such ones in meeting. About a dozen words are spoken in hardly an audible voice. They are men and women of the world. They have

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cultivated worldly propensities until their faculties have become strong in that direction. Yet they are as weak as babes in regard to spiritual things, when they should be strong and intelligent. They do not love to dwell upon the mystery of godliness. They know not the language of heaven and are not educating their minds so as to be prepared to sing the songs of heaven or to delight in the spiritual exercises which will there engage the attention of all. {2T 264.3}

Professed Christians, worldly Christians, are unacquainted with heavenly things. They will never be brought to the gates of the New Jerusalem to engage in exercises which have not hitherto specially interested them. They have not trained their minds to delight in devotion and in meditation upon things of God and heaven. How, then, can they engage in the services of heaven? how delight in the spiritual, the pure, the holy in heaven, when it was not a special delight to them upon earth? The very atmosphere there will be purity itself. But they are unacquainted with it all. When in the world, pursuing their worldly vocations, they knew just where to take hold and just what to do. The lower order of faculties being in so constant exercise, grew, while the higher, nobler powers of the mind, not being strengthened by use, are incapable of awaking at once to spiritual exercises. Spiritual things are not discerned, because they are viewed with world-loving eyes, which cannot estimate the value and glory of the divine above the temporal. {2T 265.1}

The mind must be educated and disciplined to love purity. A love for spiritual things should be encouraged; yea, must be encouraged, if you would grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Desires for goodness and true holiness are right so far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Good purposes are right, but will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out. Many will be lost while hoping

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and desiring to be Christians; but they made no earnest effort, therefore they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The will must be exercised in the right direction. I will be a wholehearted Christian. I will know the length and breadth, the height and depth, of perfect love. Listen to the words of Jesus: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Ample provisions are made by Christ to satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness. {2T 265.2}

The pure element of love will expand the soul for higher attainments, for increased knowledge of divine things, so that it will not be satisfied short of the fullness. Most professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength they might obtain were they as ambitious, zealous, and persevering to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the paltry, perishable things of this life. The masses professing to be Christians have been satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs. They have no disposition to make it their object to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; hence godliness is a hidden mystery to them, they cannot understand it. They know not Christ by experimental knowledge. {2T 266.1}

Let those men and women who are satisfied with their dwarfed, crippled condition in divine things be suddenly transported to heaven and for an instant witness the high, the holy state of perfection that ever abides there,–every soul filled with love; every countenance beaming with joy; enchanting music in melodious strains rising in honor of God and the Lamb; and ceaseless streams of light flowing upon the saints from the face of Him who sitteth upon the throne, and from the Lamb; and let them realize that there is higher and greater joy yet to experience, for the more they receive of the enjoyment of God, the more is their capacity increased to rise higher in eternal enjoyment, and thus continue to receive new and

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greater supplies from the ceaseless sources of glory and bliss inexpressible,–could such persons, I ask, mingle with the heavenly throng, participate in their songs, and endure the pure, exalted, transporting glory that emanates from God and the Lamb? Oh, no! their probation was lengthened for years that they might learn the language of heaven, that they might become “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” But they had a selfish business of their own to engage the powers of their minds and the energies of their beings. They could not afford to serve God unreservedly and make this a business. Worldly enterprises must come first and take the best of their powers, and a transient thought is devoted to God. Are such to be transformed after the final decision: “He that is holy, let him be holy still,” “he which is filthy, let him be filthy still”? Such a time is coming. {2T 266.2}

Those who have trained the mind to delight in spiritual exercises are the ones who can be translated and not be overwhelmed with the purity and transcendent glory of heaven. You may have a good knowledge of the arts, you may have an acquaintance with the sciences, you may excel in music and in penmanship, your manners may please your associates, but what have these things to do with a preparation for heaven? What have they to do to prepare you to stand before the tribunal of God? {2T 267.1}

Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Nothing but holiness will prepare you for heaven. It is sincere, experimental piety alone that can give you a pure, elevated character and enable you to enter into the presence of God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable. The heavenly character must be acquired on earth, or it can never be acquired at all. Then begin at once. Flatter not yourself that a time will come when you can make an earnest effort easier than now. Every day

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increases your distance from God. Prepare for eternity with such zeal as you have not yet manifested. Educate your mind to love the Bible, to love the prayer meeting, to love the hour of meditation, and, above all, the hour when the soul communes with God. Become heavenly-minded if you would unite with the heavenly choir in the mansions above. {2T 267.2}

A new year of your life now commences. A new page is turned in the book of the recording angel. What will be the record upon its pages? Shall it be blotted with neglect of God, with unfulfilled duties? God forbid. Let a record be stamped there which you will not be ashamed to have revealed to the gaze of men and angels. {2T 268.1}

Greenville, Michigan, July 27, 1868.

Chap. 41 – True Conversion

Dear Brother P: While at —– one year ago, we labored for your interest. I had been shown your dangers, and we were desirous of saving you; but we see you have not had strength to carry out the resolutions there made. I am troubled over the matter, and fear that I was not as faithful as I should have been in bringing before you all I knew of your case. Some things I withheld from you. While in Battle Creek in June, I was again shown that you were not making any advance, and that the reason you were not is that you have not made a clean track behind you. You do not enjoy religion. You have departed from God and righteousness. You have been seeking happiness in the wrong way, in forbidden pleasures; and you have not moral courage to confess and forsake your sins that you may find mercy. {2T 291.1}

You did not view sin as heinous in the sight of God, and put it away; you failed to make thorough work; and when the enemy came in with his temptations, you did not resist him. Had you seen how offensive sin was in the sight of God, you would not have so readily yielded to temptation. You were not so thoroughly converted as to abhor your life of sin and folly. Sin yet seemed pleasant to you, and you were loath to yield up its delusive pleasures. Your inmost soul was not converted, and you soon lost that which you had gained. {2T 291.2}

Personal vanity in your case, as well as in that of many others, has been a special hindrance to you. You have ever had a love of praise. This has been a snare to you. Your professed friends have shown a special pleasure in your society,

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and this has gratified you. Weak-minded, sympathetic women have praised you and appeared charmed with your society; and you have felt a fascinating power upon you in their company. You did not realize, while spending in pleasure seeking those hours which belonged to your family, that Satan was weaving his net about your feet. {2T 291.3}

Satan has temptations laid for every step of your life. You have not been as economical of means as you should have been. You hate stinginess. This is all right; but you go to the opposite extreme, and your course has been marked with prodigality. Christ taught His disciples a lesson in feeding the five thousand. He wrought a great miracle and fed that vast multitude with five loaves and two small fishes. After all had been satisfied, He did not then regard the fragments indifferently, as if it were beneath His dignity to notice them. He who had power to work so notable a miracle, and to give food to so large a company, said to His disciples: “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” This is a lesson to us all, and one which we should not disregard. {2T 292.1}

You have a great work before you, and you cannot afford to waste another moment without taking hold of it. Brother P, I am alarmed for you; but I know that God loves you still, although your course has been wayward. If He did not have a special love f or you He would not present your dangers before me as He has. You have engaged in jesting and sporting with men and women who have not the fear of God before them.Weak-headed and unprincipled women have retained you in their presence, and you were like a charmed bird. You seemed fascinated by these superficial persons. Angels of God were upon your track and have faithfully recorded every wrong act, every instance of departure from virtue’s path. {2T 292.2}

Yes, every act, however secret you may have thought you were in its committal, has been open to God, to Christ, and to

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the holy angels. A book is written of all the doings of the children of men. Not an item of this record can be concealed. There is only one provision made for the transgressor. Faithful repentance and confession of sin, and faith in the cleansing blood of Christ, will bring forgiveness, and pardon will be written against his name. {2T 292.3}

O my brother, had you made thorough work one year ago, the past precious year need not have been to you worse than a blank. You knew your Master’s will, but did it not. You are in a perilous condition. Your sensibilities have been blunted to spiritual things; you have a violated conscience. Your influence is not to gather, but to scatter. You have no special interest in religious exercises. You are not a happy man. Your wife would unite her interest with the people of God if you would get out of her way. She needs your help. Will you take hold of this work together? {2T 293.1}

Last June I saw that your only hope of breaking the chain of your bondage was a removal from your associates. You had yielded to Satan’s temptations until you were a weak man. You were a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God, and were fast traveling the downward path. I have been disappointed that you have continued in the same indifferent state in which you have been for years. You have known and experienced the love of God; and it has been your delight to do His will. You have delighted in the study of the word of God. You have been punctual at the prayer meetings. Your testimony has been from a heart which felt the quickening influences of the love of Christ. But you have lost your first love. {2T 293.2}
God now calls upon you to repent, to be zealous in the work. Your eternal happiness will be determined by the course you now pursue. Can you reject the invitations of mercy now offered? Can you choose your own way? Will you cherish pride and vanity, and lose your soul at last? The word of God

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plainly tells us that few will be saved, and that the greater number of those, even, who are called will prove themselves unworthy of everlasting life. They will have no part in heaven, but will have their portion with Satan, and experience the second death. {2T 293.3}

Men and women may escape this doom if they will. It is true that Satan is the great originator of sin; yet this does not excuse any man for sinning; for he cannot force men to do evil. He tempts them to it, and makes sin look enticing and pleasant; but he has to leave it to their own wills whether they will do it or not. He does not force men to become intoxicated, neither does he force them to remain away from religious meetings; but he presents temptations in a manner to allure to evil, and man is a free moral agent to accept or refuse. {2T 294.1}

Conversion is a work that most do not appreciate. It is not a small matter to transform an earthly, sin-loving mind and bring it to understand the unspeakable love of Christ, the charms of His grace, and the excellency of God, so that the soul shall b e imbued with divine love and captivated with the heavenly mysteries. When he understands these things, his former life appears disgusting and hateful. He hates sin, and, breaking his heart before God, he embraces Christ as the life and joy of the soul. He renounces his former pleasures. He has a new mind, new affections, new interest, new will; his sorrows, and desires, and love are all new. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Chris t, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing. Heaven, which once possessed no charms, is now viewed in its riches and glory; and he contemplates it as his future home, where he shall see, love, and praise the One who hath redeemed him by His precious blood. {2T 294.2}
The works of holiness, which appeared wearisome, are now

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his delight. The word of God, which was dull and uninteresting, is now chosen as his study, the man of his counsel. It is as a letter written to him from God, bearing the inscription of the Eternal. His thoughts, his words, and his deeds are brought to this rule and tested. He trembles at the commands and threatenings which it contains, while he firmly grasps its promises and strengthens his soul by appropriating them to himself. The society of the most godly is now chosen by him, and the wicked, whose company he once loved, he no longer delights in. He weeps over those sins in them at which he once laughed. Self-love and vanity are renounced, and he lives unto God, and is rich in good works. This is the sanctification which God requires. Nothing short of this will He accept. {2T 294.3}

I beg of you, my brother, to search your heart diligently and inquire: “What road am I traveling, and where will it end?” You have reason to rejoice that your life has not been cut off while you have no certain hope of eternal life. God forbid that you should longer neglect this work, and so perish in your sins. Do not flatter your soul with false hopes. You see no way to get hold again but one so humble that you cannot consent to accept it. Christ presents to you, even to you, my erring brother, a message of mercy: “Come; for all things are now ready.” God is ready to accept you and to pardon all your transgressions, if you will but come. Though you have been a prodigal, and have separated from God and stayed away from Him so long, He will meet you even now. Yes; the Majesty of heaven invites you to come to Him, that you may have life. Christ is ready to cleanse you from sin when you lay hold upon Him. What profit have you found in serving sin? what profit in serving the flesh and the devil? Is it not poor wages you receive? Oh! turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die? {2T 295.1}

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You have had many convictions, many pangs of conscience. You have had so many purposes and made so many promises, and yet you linger and will not come to Christ that you may have life. Oh, that your heart may be impressed with a sense of this time, that you may now turn and live! Cannot you hear the voice of the True Shepherd in this message? How can you disobey? Trifle not with God, lest He leave you to your own crooked ways. It is life or death with you. Which will you choose? It is a fearful thing to contend with God and resist His pleadings. You may have the love of God burning upon the altar of your heart as you once felt it. You may commune with God as you have done in times past. If you will make a clean track behind you you may again experience the riches of His grace, and your countenance again express His love. {2T 296.1}

It is not required of you to confess to those who know not your sin and errors. It is not your duty to publish a confession which will lead unbelievers to triumph; but to those to whom it is proper, who will take no advantage of your wrong, confess according to the word of God, and let them pray for you, and God will accept your work, and will heal you. For your soul’s sake, be entreated to make thorough work for eternity. Lay aside your pride, your vanity, and make straight work. Come back again to the fold. The Shepherd is waiting to receive you. Repent, and do your first works, and again come into favor with God.{2T 296.2}

Chap. 50 – Appeal to Ministers

October 2, 1868, I was shown the great and solemn work before us of warning the world of the coming judgment. Our example, if in accordance with the truth we profess, will save a few, and condemn the many, leaving them without excuse in the day when the cases of all will be decided. The righteous are to be prepared for everlasting life, and sinners, who will not become acquainted with the will and ways of God, are appointed to destruction. {2T 334.2}

Not all who preach the truth to others are sanctified by it. Some have but faint views of the sacred character of the work. They fail to trust in God and to have all their works wrought in Him. Their inmost souls have not been converted. They have not in their daily life experienced the mystery of godliness. They are handling immortal truths, weighty as eternity,

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but are not careful and earnest to have these truths inwrought in their souls, made a part of themselves, so that they shall influence them in all they do. They are not so wedded to the principles which these truths inculcate that it is impossible to separate any part of the truth from them. {2T 334.3}

Sanctification of heart and life is alone acceptable with God. Said the angel, as he pointed to the ministers who are not right: “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” God calls for integrity of soul; for truth in the inward parts, transforming the entire man by the renewing of the mind through the influences of the divine Spirit. Not all the ministers are devoted to the work; not all have put their hearts into it. They move as listlessly as though a temporal millennium were allowed them in which to work for souls. They shun burdens and responsibilities, care and privations. Self-denial, suffering, and weariness are not pleasant nor convenient. It is the study of some to save themselves from wearing labor. They study their own convenience and how to please themselves, their wives, and their children; and the work upon which they have entered is nearly lost sight of. {2T 335.1}

God calls for humiliation of soul and humble confessions from the ministers whose works have not been wrought in Him. I was cited to men who engage in worldly enterprises. They know that if they would gain their object they must suffer fatigue. They sacrifice ease and love of home, and endure privations; they are persevering, energetic, and ardent. Our ministers do not all manifest half the zeal shown by those who are securing earthly gain. They are not as intent upon their purpose, nor as earnest in their efforts; they are not as persevering, and are not as willing to deny themselves,as those who engage in worldly pursuits. {2T 335.2}

Compare these two enterprises. One is certain, eternal, enduring as the life of God;the other is a thing of this life,

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changeable, perishable, and if men succeed in their ambitious pursuits, that which they gain frequently stings like an adder, and drowns them in perdition. Oh, why should there be so great a contrast in the efforts of those who are engaged–the one class in a worldly enterprise, the other in a heavenly? the one laboring for a treasure here that is perishable, and in the effort suffering much pain for that which is frequently a source of great evil, the other putting forth efforts for the salvation of precious souls, which will be approved of Heaven and rewarded with heavenly riches. There are no risks to run here, no losses to be sustained, the profits are sure and immense. {2T 335.3}

Those who are in Christ’s stead beseeching souls to be reconciled to God should by precept and example manifest an undying interest to save souls. Their earnestness, perseverance, self-denial, and spirit of sacrifice should as far exceed the diligence and earnestness of those securing earthly gain as the soul is more valuable than the trash of earth and the subject more elevated than earthly enterprises. All worldly enterprises are of trifling importance compared with the work of saving souls. Earthly things are not enduring, although they cost so much. But one soul saved will shine in the kingdom of heaven throughout eternal ages. {2T 336.1}

Some of the ministers are asleep, and the people are also asleep; but Satan is wide awake. There is but little sacrificing for God or the truth. Ministers must set the example. In their labors they should show that they esteem eternal things of infinite value and earthly things as nothing in comparison. There are ministers preaching present truth who must be converted. Their understanding must be invigorated, their hearts purified, their affections centered in God. They should present the truth in a manner which will arouse the intellect to appreciate its excellence, purity, and sacredness. In order to do this, they should keep before their minds objects which are

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elevated and which have a purifying, quickening, and exalting influence upon the mind. They must have the purifying fire of truth burning upon the altar of their hearts, to influence and characterize their lives; then, go where they will, amid darkness and gloom, they will illuminate those in darkness with the light dwelling in them and shining round about them. {2T 336.2}

Ministers must be imbued with the same spirit as was their Master when He was upon earth. He went about doing good, blessing others with His influence. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Ministers should have clear conceptions of eternal things and of God’s claims upon them; then they can impress others and excite in them a love for contemplating heavenly things. {2T 337.1}

Ministers should become Bible students. Are the truths which they handle mighty? Then they should seek to handle them skillfully. Their ideas should be clear and strong, and their spirits fervent, or they will weaken the force of the truth which they handle. By tamely presenting the truth, merely repeating the theory without being stirred by it themselves, they can never convert men. If they should live as long as did Noah, their efforts would be without effect. Their love for souls must be intense and their zeal fervent. A listless, unfeeling manner of presenting the truth will never arouse men and women from their deathlike slumber. They must show by their manners, by their acts and words, and by their preaching and praying, that they believe that Christ is at the door. Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people! {2T 337.2}

A great work must be accomplished for ministers in order for them to make the preaching of the truth a success. The word of God should be thoroughly studied. All other reading

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is inferior to this. A careful study of the Bible will not necessarily exclude all other reading of a religious nature; but if the word of God is studied prayerfully, all reading which will have a tendency to divert the mind from it will be excluded. If we study the word of God with an interest, and pray to understand it, new beauties will be seen in every line. God will reveal precious truth so clearly that the mind will derive sincere pleasure and have a continual feast as its comforting and sublime truths are unfolded.{2T 337.3}

Visiting from house to house forms an important part of the minister’s labors. He should aim to converse with all the members of the family, whether they profess the truth or not. It is his duty to ascertain the spiritual condition of all; and he should live so near to God that he can counsel, exhort, and reprove, carefully and in wisdom. He should have the grace of God in his own heart and the glory of God constantly in view. All lightness and trifling is positively forbidden in the word of God. His conversation should be in heaven, his words seasoned with grace. All flattery should be put away, for it is Satan’s work to flatter. Poor, weak, fallen men generally think enough of themselves and need no help in this direction. Flattering your ministers is out of place. It perverts the mind and does not lead to meekness and humility; yet men and women love to be praised, and it is too frequently the case that ministers love it. Their vanity is gratified by it, but it has proved a curse to many. Reproof is more to be prized than flattery. {2T 338.1}

Not all who are preaching the truth realize that their testimony and example are deciding the destiny of souls. If they are unfaithful in their mission, and become careless in their work, souls will be lost as the result. If they are self-sacrificing and faithful in the work which the Master has given them to do, they will be instrumental in the salvation of many. Some

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permit trifles to divert them from the work. Bad roads, rainy weather, or little matters at home are sufficient excuses for them to leave the work of laboring for souls. And frequently this is done at the most important time in the work. When an interest has been raised and the minds of the people are agitated, the interest is left to die out because the minister chooses a more pleasant and easy field. Those who pursue this course show plainly that they do not have the burden of the work upon them. They wish to be carried by the people. They are not willing to endure the privations and hardships which are ever the lot of a true shepherd. {2T 338.2}

Some have no experience in taking hold of the work as though it was of vital importance. They do not enter upon it with that zeal and earnestness which would show that they are doing work which will have to bear the test of the judgment. They work too much in their own strength. They do not make God their trust, and therefore errors and imperfections mark all their efforts. They do not give the Lord an opportunity to do anything for them. They do not walk by faith, but by sight. They will go no faster or further than they can see. They do not seem to understand that venturing something for the truth’s sake has any part in their religious experience. {2T 339.1}

Some go from their homes to labor in the gospel field, but do not act as though the truths which they speak were a reality to them. Their actions show that they have not experienced the saving power of the truth themselves. When out of the desk, they appear to have no burden of the truth. They labor sometimes apparently to profit, but more frequently to no profit. Such feel as much entitled to the wages they receive as though they had earned them; notwithstanding their unconsecration has cost more labor, anxiety, and pain of heart to those laborers who have the burden of the work upon them

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than all their efforts have done good. Such are not profitable workmen. But they will have to bear this responsibility themselves. {2T 339.2}

It is often the case that ministers are inclined to visit almost entirely among the churches, devoting their time and strength where their labor will do no good. Frequently the churches are in advance of the ministers who labor among them, and would be in a more prosperous condition if those ministers would keep out of their way and give them an opportunity to work. The effort of such ministers to build up the churches only tears them down. The theory of the truth is presented over and over again, but it is not accompanied by the vitalizing power of God. They manifest a listless indifference; the spirit is contagious, and the churches lose their interest and burden for the salvation of others. Thus by their preaching and example the ministers lull the people to carnal security. If they would leave the churches, go out into new fields, and labor to raise up churches, they would understand their ability and what it costs to bring souls out to take their position upon the truth. And they would then realize how careful they should be that their example and influence might never discourage or weaken those whom it had required so much hard, prayerful labor to convert to the truth. “Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” {2T 340.1}

The churches give of their means to sustain the ministers in their labors. What have they to encourage them in their liberality? Some ministers labor from month to month and accomplish so little that the churches become disheartened; they cannot see that anything is being done to convert souls to the truth nor to make those who are church members more spiritual or fervent in their love to God and His truth. Those who are handling sacred things should be wholly consecrated to the work. They should possess an unselfish interest in it and

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a fervent love for perishing souls. If they do not have this they have mistaken their mission and should cease their labor of teaching others, for they do more harm than they can possibly do good. Some ministers display themselves, but do not feed the flock that are perishing for meat in due season. {2T 340.2}

There is a disposition with some to shrink from opposition. They fear to go into new places because of the darkness and the conflicts they expect to meet. This is cowardice. The people must be met where they are. They need stirring appeals and practical, as well as doctrinal, discourses. Precept backed up by example will have a powerful influence. {2T 341.1}

A faithful shepherd will not study his own ease and convenience, but will labor for the interest of the sheep. In this great work he will forget self; in his search for the lost sheep he will not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view: to save the lost and wandering sheep at whatever expense it may be to himself. His wages will not influence him in his labor nor turn him from his duty. He has received his commission from the Majesty of heaven, and he expects his reward when the work entrusted to him is done. {2T 341.2}

Those who engage in the business of schoolteaching prepare for the work. They qualify themselves by attending school and interesting their minds in study. They are not allowed to teach children and youth in the sciences unless they are capable of instructing them. Upon applying for a situation as teacher, they have to pass an examination before competent persons. It is an important work to deal with young minds and instruct them correctly in the sciences. But of how much greater importance is the work of the ministry! Yet many engage in the important business of interesting men and women to enter the school of Christ, where they are to learn how they may form characters for heaven, who need to become students themselves. Some who enter the ministry do not feel the burden of the work upon them. They have received incorrect

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ideas of the qualifications of a minister. They have thought that it required but little close study in the sciences or in the word of God to make a minister. Some who are teaching present truth are not acquainted with their Bibles. They are so deficient in Bible knowledge that it is difficult for them to quote a text of Scripture correctly from memory. By blundering along in the awkward manner they do, they sin against God. They mangle the scripture, and make the Bible say things that are not written therein. {2T341.3}

Some who have all their lives been led by feeling have thought that an education or a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures was of no consequence if they only had the Spirit. But God never sends His Spirit to sanction ignorance. Those who have not knowledge, and who are so situated that it is impossible for them to obtain it, the Lord may, and does, pity and bless, and sometimes condescends to make His strength perfect in their weakness. But He makes it the duty of such to study His word. A lack of knowledge in the sciences is no excuse for a neglect of Bible study; for the words of inspiration are so plain that the unlearned may understand them. {2T 342.1}

Of all men upon the face of the earth, those who are handling solemn truths for these perilous times should understand their Bibles and become acquainted with the evidences of our faith. Unless they possess a knowledge of the word of life they have no right to undertake to instruct others in the way to life. Ministers should give all diligence to add to their “faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” Some of our ministers graduate when they have scarcely learned the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Those who are ambassadors for Christ, who stand in His stead, beseeching souls to be reconciled to

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God, should be qualified to present our faith intelligently and be able to give the reasons of their hope with meekness and fear. Said Christ: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” {2T 342.2}

Ministers who teach unpopular truth will be beset by men who are urged on by Satan and who, like their master, can quote Scripture readily; and shall the servants of God be unequal to the servants of Satan in handling the words of Inspiration? They should, like Christ, meet scripture with scripture. Oh, that those who minister in holy things would awake, and, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures daily! Brethren in the ministry, I entreat of you to study the Scriptures with humble prayer for an understanding heart, that you may teach the way of life more perfectly. Your counsel, prayers, and example must be a savor of life unto life, or you are unqualified to point out the way of life to others. {2T 343.1}

The Master requires all His servants to improve upon the talents He has committed to them. But how much more will He require of those who profess to understand the way to life, and who take upon themselves the responsibility of guiding others therein. The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” {2T 343.2}

The glorious results that attended the ministry of the chosen disciples of Christ were the effects of bearing about in their bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus. Some of those who testified of Christ were unlearned and ignorant men; but grace and truth reigned in their hearts, inspiring and purifying their lives, and controlling their actions. They were

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living representatives of the mind and spirit of Christ. They were living epistles, known and read of all men. They were hated and persecuted by all who would not receive the truth they preached, and who despised the cross of Christ. {2T 343.3}

Wicked men will not oppose a form of godliness nor reject a popular ministry which presents no cross for them to bear. The natural heart will raise no serious objection to a religion in which there is nothing to make the transgressor of the law tremble or bring to bear upon the heart and conscience the terrible realities of a judgment to come. It is the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God which raises opposition and leads the natural heart to rebel. The truth that saves the soul must not only come from God; but His Spirit must attend its communication to others, else it falls powerless before opposing influences. Oh, that the truth would fall from the lips of God’s servants with such power as to burn its way to the hearts of the people! {2T 344.1}

Ministers must be endued with power from on high. When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, condemning its exciting pleasures and corrupting charms, it will then be plainly seen that there is no concord between Christ and Belial. The natural heart cannot discern the things of the Spirit of God. An unconsecrated minister, presenting the truth in an unimpassioned manner, his own soul unmoved by the truths he speaks to others, will do only harm. Every effort he makes only lowers the standard. {2T 344.2}

Selfish interest must be swallowed up in deep anxiety for the salvation of souls. Some ministers have labored, not because they dared not do otherwise, not because the woe was upon them, but having in view the wages they were to receive. Said the angel: “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on Mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord

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of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” {2T 344.3}

It is entirely wrong to buy every errand that is done for the Lord. The treasury of the Lord has been drained by those who have been only an injury to the cause. If ministers give themselves wholly to the work of God, and devote all their energies to building up His cause, they will have no lack. As regards temporal things, they have a better portion than their Lord and better than His chosen disciples whom He sent forth to save perishing man. Our great Exemplar, who was in the brightness of His Father’s glory,was despised and rejected of men. Reproach and falsehood followed Him. His chosen disciples were living examples of the life and spirit of their Master. They were honored with stripes and imprisonment; and it was finally their portion to seal their ministry with their blood. {2T 345.1}

When ministers are so interested in the work that they love it as a part of their existence, then they can say: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” {2T 345.2}

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd

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shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”{2T 345.3}

Chap. 51 – Moral Pollution

I have been shown that we live amid the perils of the last days. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. The word “many” refers to the professed followers of Christ. They are affected by the prevailing iniquity and backslide from God, but it is not necessary that they should be thus affected. The cause of this declension is that they do not stand clear from this iniquity. The fact that their love to God is waxing cold because iniquity abounds shows that they are, in some sense, partakers in this iniquity, or it would not affect their love for God and their zeal and fervor in His cause. {2T 346.1}

A terrible picture of the condition of the world has been presented before me. Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence. The iniquity which abounds is not merely confined to the unbeliever and the scoffer. Would that this were the case, but it is not. Many men and women who profess the religion of Christ are guilty. Even some who profess to be looking for His appearing are no more prepared for that event than Satan himself. They are not cleansing themselves from all pollution. They have so long served their lust that it is natural for their thoughts to be impure and their imaginations corrupt. It is as impossible to cause their minds to dwell upon pure and holy things as it would be to turn the course of Niagara and send its waters pouring up the falls. {2T 346.2}

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Youth and children of both sexes engage in moral pollution, and practice this disgusting, soul-and-body-destroying vice. Many professed Christians are so benumbed by the same practice that their moral sensibilities cannot be aroused to understand that it is sin, and that if continued its sure results will be utter shipwreck of body and mind. Man, the noblest being upon the earth, formed in the image of God, transforms himself into a beast! He makes himself gross and corrupt. Every Christian will have to learn to restrain his passions and be controlled by principle. Unless he does this he is unworthy of the Christian name. {2T 347.1}

Some who make a high profession do not understand the sin of self-abuse and its sure results. Long-established habit has blinded their understanding. They do not realize the exceeding sinfulness of this degrading sin, which is enervating the system and destroying their brain nerve power. Moral principle is exceedingly weak when it conflicts with established habit. Solemn messages from heaven cannot forcibly impress the heart that is not fortified against the indulgence of this degrading vice. The sensitive nerves of the brain have lost their healthy tone by morbid excitation to gratify an unnatural desire for sensual indulgence. The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind. In consideration of these facts, how important that ministers and people who profess godliness should stand forth clear and untainted from this soul-debasing vice! {2T 347.2}

My soul has been bowed down with anguish as I have been shown the weak condition of God’s professed people.

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Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. There are but few professed Christians who regard this matter in the right light and who hold proper government over themselves when public opinion and custom do not condemn them. How few restrain their passions because they feel under moral obligation to do so and because the fear of God is before their eyes! The higher faculties of man are enslaved by appetite and corrupt passions. {2T 347.3}

Some will acknowledge the evil of sinful indulgences, yet will excuse themselves by saying that they cannot overcome their passions. This is a terrible admission for any person to make who names Christ. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Why is this weakness? It is because the animal propensities have been strengthened by exercise until they have gained the ascendancy over the higher powers. Men and women lack principle. They are dying spiritually because they have so long pampered their natural appetites that their power of self-government seems gone. The lower passions of their nature have taken the reins, and that which should be the governing power has become the servant of corrupt passion. The soul is held in lowest bondage. Sensuality has quenched the desire for holiness and withered spiritual prosperity. {2T 348.1}

My soul mourns for the youth who are forming characters in this degenerate age. I tremble for their parents also; for I have been shown that as a general thing they do not understand their obligations to train up their children in the way they should go. Custom and fashion are consulted, and the children soon learn to be swayed by these and are corrupted; while their indulgent parents are themselves benumbed and asleep to their danger. But very few of the youth are free from corrupt habits. They are excused from physical exercise to a great degree for fear they will overwork. The parents

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bear burdens themselves which their children should bear. Overwork is bad, but the result of indolence is more to be dreaded. Idleness leads to the indulgence of corrupt habits. Industry does not weary and exhaust one-fifth part as much as the pernicious habit of self-abuse. If simple, well-regulated labor exhausts your children, be assured, parents, there is something, aside from their labor, which is enervating their systems and producing a sense of constant weariness. Give your children physical labor, which will call into exercise the nerves and muscles. The weariness attending such labor will lessen their inclination to indulge in vicious habits. Idleness is a curse. It produces licentious habits. {2T 348.2}

Many cases have been presented before me, and as I have had a view of their inner lives, my soul has been sick and disgusted with the rotten-heartedness of human beings who profess godliness and talk of translation to heaven. I have frequently asked myself: Whom can I trust? Who is free from iniquity? {2T 349.1}

My husband and I once attended a meeting where our sympathies were enlisted for a brother who was a great sufferer with the phthisic. He was pale and emaciated. He requested the prayers of the people of God. He said that his family were sick and that he had lost a child. He spoke with feeling of his bereavement. He said that he had been waiting for some time to see Brother and Sister White. He had believed that if they would pray for him he would be healed. After the meeting closed, the brethren called our attention to the case. They said that the church was assisting them; that his wife was sick, and his child had died. The brethren had met at his house, and united in praying for the afflicted family. We were much worn, and had the burden of labor upon us during the meeting, and wished to be excused. {2T 349.2}

I had resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone unless

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the Spirit of the Lord should dictate in the matter. I had been shown that there was so much iniquity abounding, even among professed Sabbathkeepers, that I did not wish to unite in prayer for those of whose history I had no knowledge. I stated my reason. I was assured by the brethren that, as far as they knew, he was a worthy brother. I conversed a few words with the one who had solicited our prayers that he might be healed, but I could not feel free. He wept, and said that he had waited for us to come, and he felt assured that if we would pray for him he would be restored to health. We told him that we were unacquainted with his life, that we would rather those who knew him would pray for him. He importuned us so earnestly that we decided to consider his case and present it before the Lord that night; and if the way seemed clear, we would comply with his request. {2T 349.3}

That night we bowed in prayer and presented his case before the Lord. We entreated that we might know the will of God concerning him. All we desired was that God might be glorified. Would the Lord have us pray for this afflicted man? We left the burden with the Lord and retired to rest. In a dream the case of that man was clearly presented. His course from his childhood up was shown, and that if we should pray the Lord would not hear us; for he regarded iniquity in his heart. The next morning the man came for us to pray for him. We took him aside and told him we were sorry to be compelled to refuse his request. I related my dream, which he acknowledged was true. He had practiced self-abuse from his boyhood up, and he had continued the practice during his married life, but said he would try to break himself of it. {2T 350.1}

This man had a long-established habit to overcome. He was in the middle age of life. His moral principles were so weak that when brought in conflict with long-established

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indulgence they were overcome. The baser passions had gained the ascendancy over the higher nature. I asked him in regard to health reform. He said he could not live it. His wife would throw graham flour out of doors if it were brought into the house. This family had been helped by the church. Prayer had also been offered in their behalf. Their child had died, the wife was sick, and the husband and father would leave his case upon us for us to bring before a pure and holy God, that He might work a miracle and make him well. The moral sensibilities of this man were benumbed. {2T 350.2}

When the young adopt vile practices while the spirit is tender, they will never obtain force to fully and correctly develop physical, intellectual, and moral character. Here was a man debasing himself daily, and yet daring to venture into the presence of God and ask an increase of strength which he had vilely squandered, and which, if granted, he would consume upon his lust. What forbearance has God! If He should deal with man according to his corrupt ways, who could live in His sight? What if we had been less cautious and carried the case of this man before God while he was practicing iniquity, would the Lord have heard? would He have answered? “For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with Thee. The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” {2T 351.1}

This is not a solitary case. Even the marriage relation was not sufficient to preserve this man from the corrupt habits of his youth. I wish I could be convinced that such cases as the one I have presented are rare, but I know they are frequent. Children born to parents who are controlled by corrupt passions are worthless. What can be expected of such children but that they will sink lower in the scale than their parents?

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What can be expected of the rising generation? Thousands are devoid of principle. These very ones are transmitting to their offspring their own miserable, corrupt passions. What a legacy! Thousands drag out their unprincipled lives, tainting their associates, and perpetuating their debased passions by transmitting them to their children. They take the responsibility of giving to them the stamp of their own characters. {2T 351.2}

I come again to Christians. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health. {2T 352.1}

Indulgence of the baser passions will lead very many to shut their eyes to the light, for they fear that they will see sins which they are unwilling to forsake. All may see if they will. If they choose darkness rather than light, their criminality will be none the less. Why do not men and women read, and become intelligent upon these things which so decidedly affect their physical, intellectual, and moral strength? God has given you a habitation to care for and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory. Your bodies are not your own. “What? know ye not that your body is the

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temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; f or the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” {2T 352.2}

Chapter 52 – Christian Temperance

[DELIVERED IN BATTLE
CREEK, MARCH 6, 1869, AND REPORTED BY U. SMITH]

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. {2T 354.1}

We are not our own. We have been purchased with a dear price, even the sufferings and death of the Son of God. If we could understand this, and fully realize it, we would feel a great responsibility resting upon us to keep ourselves in the very best condition of health, that we might render to God perfect service. But when we take any course which expends our vitality, decreases our strength, or beclouds the intellect we sin against God. In pursuing this course we are not glorifying Him in our bodies and spirits which are His, but are committing a great wrong in His sight. {2T 354.2}

Has Jesus given Himself for us? Has a dear price been paid to redeem us? And is it so, that we are not our own? Is it true that all the powers of our being, our bodies, our spirits, all that we have, and all we are, belong to God? It certainly is. And when we realize this, what obligation does it lay us under to God to preserve ourselves in that condition that we may honor Him upon the earth in our bodies and in our spirits which are His {2T 354.3}

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We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us. {2T 355.1}

We embrace the truth of God with our different faculties, and as we come under the influence of that truth, it will accomplish the work for us which is necessary to give us a moral fitness for the kingdom of glory and for the society of the heavenly angels. We are now in God’s workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us. It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of whatever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to

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be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality. {2T 355.2}

We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness and purity of character, and to a growth in grace. Wherever we look we see corruption and defilement, deformity and sin. And what is the work that we are to undertake here just previous to receiving immortality? It is to preserve our bodies holy, our spirits pure, that we may stand forth unstained amid the corruptions teeming around us in these last days. And if this work is accomplished we need to engage in it at once, heartily and understandingly. Selfishness should not come in here to influence us. The Spirit of God should have perfect control of us, influencing us in all our actions. If we have a right hold on Heaven, a right hold of the power that is from above, we shall feel the sanctifying influe nce of the Spirit of God upon our hearts. {2T 356.1}

When we have tried to present the health reform to our brethren and sisters, and have spoken to them of the importance of eating and drinking and doing all that they do to the glory of God, many by their actions have said: “It is nobody’s business whether I eat this or that. Whatever we do we are to bear the consequences ourselves.” Dear friends, you are greatly mistaken. You are not the only sufferers from a wrong course. The society you are in bears the consequences of your wrongs, in a great degree, as well as yourselves. If you suffer from your intemperance in eating or drinking, we that are around you or associated with you are also affected by your infirmities. We have to suffer on account of your wrong course. If it has an influence to lessen you r powers of mind or body, we feel it when in your society, and are affected by it. If, instead of having a buoyancy of spirit, you are gloomy, you cast a shadow upon the spirits of all around you. If we are sad and depressed, and in trouble, you could, if in a right condition of health, have a clear brain to

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show us the way out and speak a comforting word to us. But if your brain is so benumbed by your wrong course of living that you cannot give us the right counsel, do we not meet with a loss? Does not your influence seriously affect us? We may have a good degree of confidence in our own judgment, yet we want to have counselors; for “in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” We desire that our course should look consistent to those we love, and we wish to seek their counsel and have them able to give it with a clear brain. But what care we for your judgment, if your brain nerve power has been taxed to the utmost, and the vitality withdrawn from the brain to take care of the improper food placed in your stomachs, or of an enormous quantity of even healthful food? What care we for the judgment of such persons? They see through a mass of undigested food. Therefore your course of living affects us. It is impossible for you to pursue any wrong course without causing others to suffer. {2T 356.2}

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Those who engaged in running the race to obtain that laurel which was considered a special honor were temperate in all things so that their muscles, their brains, and every part of them might be in the very best condition to run. If they were not temperate in all things they would not have that elasticity that they would have if they were. If temperate, they could run that race more successfully; they were more sure of receiving the crown. {2T 357.1}

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But notwithstanding all their temperance,–all their efforts to subject themselves to a careful diet in order to be in the best condition,–those who ran the earthly race only ran at a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them, and take the prize. Only one received the prize. But in the heavenly race we can all run and all receive the prize. There is no uncertainty, no risk, in the matter. We must put on the heavenly graces, and, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keep the Pattern ever before us. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The humble,self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. And then as we seek to imitate Him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can, we shall certainly secure the prize. {2T 358.1}

Men would subject themselves to self-denial and discipline in order to run and obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day, and which was only a token of honor from mortals here. But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. “We,” says the apostle, “an incorruptible.” And if those who engaged in this race here upon the earth for a temporal crown could be temperate in all things, cannot we, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God? When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith”? He has pointed out the way for us, and marked it all along by His own footsteps. It is the

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path that He traveled, and we may, with Him, experience the self-denial and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by His own blood. {2T 358.2}

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” There is work here for every man, woman, and child to do. Satan is constantly seeking to gain control of you r bodies and spirits. But Christ has bought you, and you are His property. And now it is for you to work in union with Christ, in union with the holy angels that minister unto you. It is for you to keep the body under and bring it into subjection. Unless you do this you will certainly lose everlasting life and the crown of immortality. And yet some will say: “What business is it to anybody what I eat or what I drink?” I have shown you what relation your course has to others. You have seen that it has much to do with the influence you exert in your families. It has much to do with molding the characters of your children. {2T 359.1}

As I said before, we live in a corrupt age. It is a time when Satan seems to have almost perfect control over minds that are not fully consecrated to God. Therefore there is a very great responsibility resting upon parents and guardians who have children to bring up. Parents have taken the responsibility of bringing these children into existence; and now what is their duty? Is it to let them come up just as they may, and just as they will? Let me tell you, a weighty responsibility rests upon these parents. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Do you do this when you prepare food for your tables and call your family to partake of it? Are you placing before your children only the food that you know will make the very best blood? Is it that food that will preserve their systems in the least feverish condition? Is it that which will place them in the

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very best relation to life and health? Is this the food that you are studying to place before your children? Or do you, regardless of their future good, provide for them unhealthful, stimulating, irritating food? {2T 359.2}

Let me tell you that children are born to evil. Satan seems to have control of them. He takes possession of their young minds, and they are corrupted. Why do fathers and mothers act as though a lethargy were upon them? They do not mistrust that Satan is sowing evil seed in their families. They are as blind and careless and reckless in regard to these things as it is possible for them to be. Why do they not awake, and read and study upon these subjects? Says the apostle: “Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience,” etc. Here is a work which rests upon every one who professes to follow Christ; it is to live upon the plan of addition. {2T 360.1}

Chapter after chapter has been opened to me. I can select family after family of children in this house, every one of whom is as corrupt as hell itself. Some of them profess to be followers of Christ, and you, their parents, are as indifferent as though you had had a shock of paralysis. {2T 360.2}

I have said that some of you are selfish. You have not understood what I have meant. You have studied what food would taste best. Taste and pleasure, instead of the glory of God, and a desire to advance in the divine life, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God, have ruled. You have consulted your own pleasure, your own appetite; and while you have been doing this, Satan has been gaining a march upon you and, as is generally the case, has frustrated your efforts every time. {2T 360.3}

Some of you fathers have taken your children to the physician to see what was the matter with them. I could have told you in two minutes what was the trouble. Your children

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are corrupt. Satan has obtained control of them. He has come right in past you, while you, who are as God to them, to guard them, were at ease, stupefied, and asleep. God has commanded you to bring them up in the fear and nurture of the Lord. But Satan has passed right in before you and has woven strong bands around them. And yet you sleep on. May Heaven pity you and your children, for every one of you needs His pity. {2T 360.4}

Had you taken your position upon the health reform; had you added to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, things might have been different. But you have been only partially aroused by the iniquity and corruption that is in your houses. You have opened your eyes a little and then composed yourself to sleep again. Do you think angels can come into your dwellings? Do you think your children are susceptible of holy influences with these things among you? I can count family after family that are almost entirely under the control of Satan. I know these things are true, and I want the people to arouse before it shall be eternally too late, and the blood of souls, even the blood of the souls of their own children, be found upon t heir garments. {2T 361.1}

The minds of some of these children are so weakened that they have but one half or one third of the brilliancy of intellect that they might have had had they been virtuous and pure. They have thrown it away in self-abuse. Right here in this church, corruption is teeming on every hand. Now and then there is a sing, or some gathering for pleasure. Every time I hear of these, I feel like clothing myself in sackcloth. “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears!” “Spare Thy people, O Lo rd.” I feel distressed. I have an agony of soul that is beyond anything that I can describe to you. You are asleep. Would the lightning and thunder

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of Sinai arouse this church? Would they arouse you, fathers and mothers, to commence the work of reformation in your own houses? You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you. {2T 361.2}

You should study temperance in all things. You must study it in what you eat and in what you drink. And yet you say: “It is nobody’s business what I eat, or what I drink, or what I place upon my table.” It is somebody’s business, unless you take your children and shut them up, or go into the wilderness where you will not be a burden upon others, and where your unruly, vicious children will not corrupt the society in which they mingle.
{2T 362.1}

Many who have adopted the health reform have left off everything hurtful, but does it follow that because they have left off these things they can eat just as much as they please? They sit down to the table, and instead of considering how much they should eat, they give themselves up to appetite and eat to great excess. And the stomach has all it can do, or all it should do, the rest of that day, to worry away with the burden imposed upon it. All the food that is put into the stomach, from which the system cannot derive benefit, is a burden to nature in her work. It hinders the living machine. The system is clogged and cannot successfully carry on its

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work. The vital organs are unnecessarily taxed, and the brain nerve power is called to the stomach to help the digestive organs carry on their work of disposing of an amount of food which does the system no good. {2T 362.2}

Thus the power of the brain is lessened by drawing so heavily upon it to help the stomach get along with its heavy burden. And after it has accomplished the task, what are the sensations experienced as the result of this unnecessary expenditure of vital force? A feeling of goneness, a faintness, as though you must eat more. Perhaps this feeling comes just before mealtime. What is the cause of this? Nature has worried along with her work and is so thoroughly exhausted in consequence that you have this sensation of goneness. And you think that the stomach says, “More food,” when, in its faintness, it is distinctly saying, “Give me rest.” {2T 363.1}

The stomach needs rest to gather up its exhausted energies for another work. But, instead of allowing it any period of rest, you think it needs more food, and so heap another load upon nature, and refuse it the needed rest. It is like a man laboring in the field all through the early part of the day until he is weary. He comes in at noon and says that he is weary and exhausted, but you tell him to go to work again and he will obtain relief. This is the way you treat the stomach. It is thoroughly exhausted. But instead of letting it rest, you give it more food, and then call the vitality from other parts of the system to the stomach to assist in the work of digestion. {2T 363.2}

Many of you have at times felt a numbness around the brain. You have felt disinclined to take hold of any labor which required either mental or physical exertion, until you have rested from the sense of this burden imposed upon your system. Then, again, there is this sense of goneness. But you say it is more food that is wanted, and place a double load

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upon the stomach for it to care for. Even if you are strict in the quality of your food, do you glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are His, by partaking of such a quantity of food? Those who place so much food upon the stomach, and thus load down nature, could not appreciate the truth should they hear it dwelt upon. They could not arouse the benumbed sensibilities of the brain to realize the value of the atonement and the great sacrifice that has been made for fallen man. It is impossible for such to appreciate the great, the precious, and the exceedingly rich reward that is in reserve for the faithful overcomers. The animal part of our nature should never be left to govern the moral and intellectual. {2T 363.3}

And what influence does overeating have upon the stomach? It becomes debilitated, the digestive organs are weakened, and disease, with all its train of evils, is brought on as the result. If persons were diseased before, they thus increase the difficulties upon them and lessen their vitality every day they live. They call their vital powers into unnecessary action to take care of the food that they place in their stomachs. What a terrible condition is this to be in! We know something of dyspepsia by experience. We have had it in our family, and we feel that it is a disease much to be dreaded. When a person becomes a thorough dyspeptic, he is a great sufferer, mentally and physically; and his friends must also suffer, unless they are as unfeeling as brutes. And yet will you say: “It is none of your business what I eat or what course I pursue”? Does anybody around dyspeptics suffer? Just take a course that will irritate them in any way. How natural to be fretful! They feel bad, and it appears to them that their children are very bad. They cannot speak calmly to them, nor, without especial grace, act calmly in their families. All around them are affected by the disease upon them; all have to suffer the consequences of their infirmity. They cast

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a dark shadow. Then, do not your habits of eating and drinking affect others? They certainly do. And you should be very careful to preserve yourself in the best condition of health that you may render to God perfect service and do your duty in society and to your family. {2T 364.1}

But even health reformers can err in the quantity of food. They can eat immoderately of a healthy quality of food. Some in this house err in the quality. They have never taken their position upon health reform. They have chosen to eat and drink what they pleased and when they pleased. They are injuring their systems in this way. Not only this, but they are injuring their families by placing upon their tables a feverish diet which will increase the animal passions of their children and lead them to care but little for heavenly things. The parents are thus strengthening the animal, and lessening the spiritual, powers of their children. What a heavy penalty will they have to pay in the end! And then they wonder that their children are so weak morally! {2T 365.1}

Parents have not given their children the right education. Frequently they manifest the same imperfections which are seen in the children. They eat improperly, and this calls their nervous energies to the stomach, and they have no vitality to expend in other directions. They cannot properly control their children because of their own impatience, neither can they teach them the right way. Perhaps they take hold of them roughly and give them an impatient blow. I have said that to shake a child would shake two evil spirits in, while it would shake one out. If a child is wrong, to shake it only makes it worse. It will not subdue it. When the system is not in a right condition, when the circulation is broken up, and the nervous power has all that it can do to take care of a bad quality of food, or too great a quantity even of that which is good, parents have not self-command. They cannot

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reason from cause to effect. Here is the reason why–in every move they make in their families they create more trouble than they cure. They do not seem to understand and reason from cause to effect, and they go to work like blind men. They seem to act as though it would especially glorify God for them to move like wild men, and if anything wrong should occur in their families, to put it down with roughness and violence. {2T 365.2}

Who are our children? They are only our younger brothers and sisters in the family that God acknowledges as His. We are dealing with the members of the Lord’s family. And while the care of them is committed to us, how careful should we be that we bring them up for the Lord, so that when the Master comes we can say: “Here, Lord, are we, and the children that Thou hast given us.” Shall we then be able to say: We have tried to do our work, and we have tried to do it well”? {2T 366.1}

I have seen mothers of large families, who could not see the work that lay right in their pathway, just before them in their own families. They wanted to be missionaries and do some great work. They were looking out for themselves some high position, but neglecting to take care of the very work at home which the Lord had left for them to do. How important that the brain be clear! How important that the body be as free as possible from disease, in order that we may do the work which Heaven has left for us to do, and perform it in such a manner that the Master can say: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” My sisters, do not despise the few things which the Lord has left for you to do. Let each day’s actions be such that in the day of final settlement of accounts you will not be ashamed to meet the record made by the recording angel{2T 366.2}

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But what about an impoverished diet? I have spoken of the importance of the quantity and quality of food being in strict accordance with the laws of health. But we would not recommend an impoverished diet. I have been shown that many take a wrong view of the health reform and adopt too poor a diet. They subsist upon a cheap, poor quality of food, prepared without care or reference to the nourishment of the system. It is important that the food should be prepared with care, that the appetite, when not perverted, can relish it. Because we from principle discard the use of meat, butter, mince pies, spices, lard, and that which irritates the stomach and destroys health, the idea should never be given that it is of but little consequence what we eat. {2T 367.1}

There are some who go to extremes. They must eat just such an amount and just such a quality, and confine themselves to two or three things. They allow only a few things to be placed before them or their families to eat. In eating a small amount of food, and that not of the best quality, they do not take into the stomach that which will suitably nourish the system. Poor food cannot be converted into good blood. An impoverished diet will impoverish the blood. I will mention the case of Sister A. That case was presented to me to show an extreme. Two classes were presented before me: First, those who were not living up to the light which God had given them. They started in the reform because somebody else did. They did not understand the system for themselves. There are many of you who profess the truth, who have received it because somebody else did, and for your life you could not give the reason. This is why you are as weak as water. Instead of weighing your motives in the light of eternity, instead of having a practical knowledge of the principles underlying all your actions, instead of having dug down to the bottom and built upon a right foundation for yourself, you are walking in the

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sparks kindled by somebody else. And you will fail in this, as you have failed in the health reform. Now, if you had moved from principle you would not have done this. {2T 367.2}

Some cannot be impressed with the necessity of eating and drinking to the glory of God. The indulgence of appetite affects them in all the relations of life. It is seen in their family, in their church, in the prayer meeting, and in the conduct of the ir children. It has been the curse of their lives. You cannot make them understand the truths for these last days. God has bountifully provided for the sustenance and happiness of all His creatures; and if His laws were never violated, and all acted in harmony with the divine will, health, peace, and happiness, instead of misery and continual evil, would be experienced. {2T 368.1}

Another class who have taken hold of the health reform are very severe. They take a position, and stand stubbornly in that position, and carry nearly everything over the mark. Sister A was one of these. She was not sympathizing, loving, and affectionate like our divine Lord. Justice was nearly all she could see. She carried matters further than Dr. Trall. Her patients had to even leave her because they could not get enough to eat. Her impoverished diet gave her impoverished blood. {2T 368.2}

Flesh meats will depreciate the blood. Cook meat with spices, and eat it with rich cakes and pies, and you have a bad quality of blood. The system is too heavily taxed in disposing of this kind of food. The mince pies and the pickles, which should never find a place in any human stomach, will give a miserable quality of blood. And a poor quality of food, cooked in an improper manner, and insufficient in quantity, cannot make good blood. Flesh meats and rich food, and an impoverished diet, will produce the same results. {2T 368.3}

Now in regard to milk and sugar: I know of persons who have become frightened at the health reform, and said they

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would have nothing to do with it, because it has spoken against a free use of these things. Changes should be made with great care, and we should move cautiously and wisely. We want to take that course which will recommend itself to the intelligent men and women of the land. Large quantities of milk and sugar eaten together are injurious. They impart impurities to the system. Animals from which milk is obtained are not always healthy. They may be diseased. A cow may be apparently well in the morning, and die before night. Then she was diseased in the morning, and her milk was diseased; but you did not know it. The animal creation is diseased. Flesh meats are diseased. Could we know that animals were in perfect health, I would recommend that people eat flesh meats sooner than large quantities of milk and sugar. It would not do the injury that milk and sugar do. Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine. {2T 368.4}

There was one case in Montcalm County, Michigan, to which I will refer. The individual was a noble man. He stood six feet and was of fine appearance. I was called to visit him in his sickness. I had previously conversed with him in regard to his manner of living. “I do not like the looks of your eyes,” said I. He was eating large quantities of sugar. I asked him why he did this. He said that he had left off meat, and did not know what would supply its place as well as sugar. His food did not satisfy him, simply because his wife did not know how to cook. Some of you send your daughters, who have nearly grown to womanhood, to school to learn the sciences before they know how to cook, when this should be made of the first importance. Here was a woman who did not know how to cook; she had not learned how to prepare healthful food. The wife and mother was deficient in this important branch of education; and as the result, poorly cooked food not being sufficient to sustain the demands of the system, sugar was eaten

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immoderately, which brought on a diseased condition of the entire system. This man’s life was sacrificed unnecessarily to bad cooking. When I went to see the sick man I tried to tell them as well as I could how to manage, and soon he began slowly to improve.But he imprudently exercised his strength when not able, ate a small amount not of the right quality, and was taken down again. This time there was no help for him. His system appeared to be a living mass of corruption. He died a victim to poor cooking. He tried to make sugar supply the place of good cooking, and it only made matters worse {2T 369.1}

I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help. {2T 370.1}

Our sisters often do not know how to cook. To such I would say: I would go to the very best cook that could be found in the country, and remain there if necessary for weeks, until I had become mistress of the art, an intelligent, skillful cook. I would pursue this course if I were forty years old. It is your duty to know how to cook, and it is your duty to teach your daughters to cook. When you are teaching them the art of cookery you are building around them a barrier that will preserve them from the folly and vice which they may otherwise be tempted to engage in. I prize my seamstress, I value my copyist; but my cook, who knows well how to prepare the food to sustain life and nourish brain, bone, and muscle, fills the most important place among the helpers in my family. {2T 370.2}

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Mothers, there is nothing that leads to such evils as to lift the burdens from your daughters, and give them nothing special to do, and let them choose their own employment, perhaps a little crochet or some other fancywork to busy themselves. Let them have exercise of the limbs and muscles. If it wearies them, what then? Are you not wearied in your work? Will weariness hurt your children, unless overworked, more than it hurts you? No, indeed. They can recover from their weariness in a good night’s rest and be prepared to engage in labor the next day. It is a sin to let them grow up in idleness. The sin and ruin of Sodom was abundance of bread and idleness. {2T 371.1}

We want to work from the right standpoint. We want to act like men and women that are to be brought into judgment. And when we adopt the health reform we should adopt it from a sense of duty, not because somebody else has adopted it. I have not changed my course a particle since I adopted the health reform. I have not taken one step back since the light from heaven upon this subject first shone upon my pathway. I broke away from everything at once,–from meat and butter, and from three meals,–and that while engaged in exhaustive brain labor, writing from early morning till sundown. I came down to two meals a day without changing my labor. I have been a great sufferer from disease, having had five shocks of paralysis. I have been with my left arm bound to my side for months because the pain in my heart was so great. When making these changes in my diet, I refused to yield to taste and let that govern me. Shall that stand in the way of my securing greater strength, that I may therewith glorify my Lord? Shall that stand in my way for a moment? Never! I suffered keen hunger. I was a great meat eater. But when faint, I placed my arms across my stomach and said: “I will not taste a morsel. I will eat simple food, or I will not eat at all.” Bread was

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distasteful to me. I could seldom eat a piece as large as a dollar. Some things in the reform I could get along with very well, but when I came to the bread I was especially set against it. When I made these changes I had a special battle to fight. The first two or three meals, I could not eat. I said to my stomach: “You may wait until you can eat bread.” In a little while I could eat bread, and graham bread, too. This I could not eat before; but now it tastes good, and I have had no loss of appetite. {2T 371.2}

When writing Spiritual Gifts, volumes three and four, I would become exhausted by excessive labor. I then saw that I must change my course of life, and by resting a few days I came out all right again. I left off these things from principle. I took my stand on health reform from principle. And since that time, brethren, you have not heard me advance an extreme view of health reform that I have had to take back. I have advanced nothing but what I stand to today. I recommend to you a healthful, nourishing diet. {2T 372.1}

I do not regard it a great privation to discontinue the use of those things which leave a bad smell in the breath and a bad taste in the mouth. Is it self-denial to leave these things and get into a condition where everything is as sweet as honey; where no bad taste is left in the mouth and no feeling of goneness in the stomach? These I used to have much of the time. I have fainted away with my child in my arms again and again. I have none of this now, and shall I call this a privation when I can stand before you as I do this day? There is not one woman in a hundred that could endure the amount of labor that I do. I moved out from principle, not from impulse. I moved because I believed Heaven would approve of the course I was taking to bring myself into the very best condition of health, that I might glorify God in my body and spirit, which are His. {2T 372.2}

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We can have a variety of good, wholesome food, cooked in a healthful manner, so that it can be made palatable to all. And if you, my sisters, do not know how to cook, I advise you to learn. It is of vital importance to you to know how to cook. There are more souls lost from poor cooking than you have any idea of. It produces sickness, disease, and bad tempers; the system becomes deranged, and heavenly things cannot be discerned. There is more religion in a loaf of good bread than many of you think. There is more religion in good cooking than you have any idea of. We want you to learn what good religion is, and to carry it out in your families. When I have been from home sometimes, I have known that the bread upon the table, and the food generally, would hurt me; but I would be obliged to eat a little to sustain life. It is a sin in the sight of Heaven to have such food. I have suffered for want of proper food. For a dyspeptic stomach, you may place upon your tables fruits of different kinds, but not too many at one meal. In this way you may have a variety, and it will taste good, and after you have eaten your meals you will feel well. {2T 373.1}

I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals! You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals. Eat what you ought, but eat it at one meal, and then wait until the next. I eat enough to satisfy the wants of nature; but when I get up from the table, my appetite is just as good as when I sat down. And when the next meal comes, I am ready to take my portion, and no more. Should I eat a double amount now and then, because it tastes good, how could I bow down and ask God to help me in my work of writing, when I could not get an idea on account of my gluttony? Could I ask God to take care of that unreasonable load upon my stomach? That would be dishonoring Him. That would be asking to consume upon my lust. Now I eat just

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what I think is right, and then I can ask Him to give me strength to perform the work that He has given me to do. And I have known that Heaven has heard and answered my prayer when I have offered this petition. {2T 373.2}

Again, when we eat immoderately, we sin against our own bodies. Upon the Sabbath, in the house of God, gluttons will sit and sleep under the burning truths of God’s word. They can neither keep their eyes open, nor comprehend the solemn discourses given. Do you think that such are glorifying God in their bodies and spirits, which are His? No; they dishonor Him. And the dyspeptic–what has made him dyspeptic is taking this course. Instead of observing regularity, he has let appetite control him, and has eaten between meals. Perhaps, if his habits are sedentary, he has not had the vitalizing air of heaven to help in the work of digestion; he may not have had sufficient exercise for his health. {2T 374.1}

Some of you feel as though you would like to have somebody tell you how much to eat. This is not the way it should be. We are to act from a moral and religious standpoint. We are to be temperate in all things, because an incorruptible crown, a heavenly treasure, is before us. And now I wish to say to my brethren and sisters, I would have moral courage to take my position and to govern myself. I would not want to put that on someone else. You eat too much, and then you are sorry, and so you keep thinking upon what you eat and drink. Just eat that which is for the best, and go right away, feeling clear in the sight of Heaven, and not having remorse of conscience. We do not believe in removing temptations entirely away from either children or grown persons. We all have a warfare before us and must stand in a position to resist the temptations of Satan, and we want to know that we possess the power in ourselves to do this. {2T 374.2}

And while we would caution you not to overeat, even of

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the best quality of food, we would also caution those that are extremists not to raise a false standard and then endeavor to bring everybody to it. There are some who are starting out as health reformers who are not fit to engage in any other enterprise, and who have not sense enough to take care of their own families, or keep their proper place in the church. And what do they do? Why, they fall back as health reform physicians, as though they could make that a success. They assume the responsibilities of their practice, and take the lives of men and women into their hands, when they really know nothing about the business. {2T 374.3}

My voice shall be raised against novices undertaking to treat disease professedly according to the principles of health reform. God forbid that we should be the subjects for them to experiment upon! We are too few. It is altogether too inglorious a warfare for us to die in. God deliver us from such danger! We do not need such teachers and physicians. Let those try to treat disease who know something about the human system. The heavenly Physician was full of compassion. This spirit is needed by those who deal with the sick. Some who undertake to become physicians are bigoted, selfish, and mulish. You cannot teach them anything. It may be they have never done anything worth doing. They may not have made life a success. They know nothing really worth knowing, and yet they have started up to practice the health reform. We cannot afford to let such persons kill off this one and that one. No; we cannot afford it! {2T 375.1}

We want to be just right every time. We want to bring our people up to the right position on the health reform. “Let us,” says the apostle, “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must be right in order to stand in the last days. We need clear brains and sound minds in sound bodies. We should

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begin to work in earnest for our children, for every member of our families. Shall we take hold and work from the right standpoint? Jesus is coming; and if we pursue a course to blind ourselves to the soul-elevating truths of these last days, how can we be sanctified through the truth? How can we be prepared for immortality? May the Lord help us that we may commence to work here as never before. {2T 375.2}

We have spoken of having a series of meetings in this place, and of taking hold to labor for the people. But we dare not put our arms under to lift you. We want you to commence this work of reformation in your own houses. We want those that have been in the background to come up. You must begin to work. And when we see that you have commenced to labor for yourselves, we will come in and lift. We hope to reform your children, that they may be converted to Christ, and that the spirit of reformation may spread all through your midst. But when you appear twice dead, and ready to be plucked up by the roots, we dare not undertake the work. We would rather go to an unbelieving congregation where there are hearts to receive the truth. The burden of the truth is upon us. There are enough to hear the truth; and we long to be where we can speak it to them. Will you help us by going to work for yourselves? {2T 376.1}

May the Lord help you to feel as you never felt before. May He help you to die to self, and get the spirit of reformation in your homes, that the angels of God may come into your midst to minister unto you, and that you may be fitted for translation to heaven. {2T 376.2}

Chap. 59 – An Appeal to the Church

October 2, 1868, I was shown the state of God’s professed people. Many of them were in great darkness, yet seemed to be insensible of their true condition. The sensibilities of a large number seemed to be benumbed in regard to spiritual and eternal things, while their minds seemed all awake to their worldly interests. Many were cherishing idols in their hearts and were practicing iniquity which separated them from God and caused them to be bodies of darkness. I saw but few who stood in the light, having discernment and spirituality to discover these stumbling blocks and remove them out of the way. Men who stand in very responsible positions at the heart of the work are asleep. Satan has paralyzed them in order that his plans and devices may not be discerned, while he is active to ensnare, deceive, and destroy. {2T 439.2}

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Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, while their wily foe enters the fort and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up. They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting; yet they take it all quietly, as though they had no special interest, as though these things did not concern them. They apprehend no special danger; they see no cause to raise an alarm. To them everything seems to be going well, and they see no necessity of raising the faithful, trumpet notes of warning which they hear borne by the plain testimonies, to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. These reproofs and warnings disturb the quiet of these sleepy, ease-loving sentinels, and they are not pleased. They say in heart, if not in words: “This is all uncalled for. It is too severe, too harsh. These men are unnecessarily disturbed and excited, and seem unwilling to give us any rest or quietude ‘Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them.’ They are not willing that we should have any comfort, peace, or happiness. It is active labor, toil, and unceasing vigilance alone which will satisfy these unreasonable, hard-to-be-suited watchmen. Why don’t they prophesy smooth things, and cry: Peace, peace? Then everything would move on smoothly.” {2T 440.1}

These are the true feelings of many of our people. And Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he. The people have not erected graven images, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God. They worship mammon. They love worldly gain. Some will make any sacrifice of conscience to obtain their object. God’s professed

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people are selfish and self-caring. They love the things of this world, and have fellowship with the works of darkness. They have pleasure in unrighteousness. They have not love toward God nor love for their neighbors. They are idolaters, and are worse, far worse, in the sight of God than the heathen, graven-image worshipers who have no knowledge of a better way. {2T 440.2}

Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise. A profession of Christianity is nothing in the sight of God; but true, humble, willing obedience to His requirements designates the children of His adoption, the recipients of His grace, the partakers of His great salvation. Such will be peculiar, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Their peculiar, holy character will be discernible, and will distinctly separate them from the world, from its affections and lust. {2T 441.1}

I saw that but few among us answer to this description. Their love to God is in word, not in deed and in truth. Their course of action, their works, testify of them that they are not children of the light but of darkness. Their works have not been wrought in God, but in selfishness, in unrighteousness. Their hearts are strangers to His renewing grace. They have not experienced the transforming power which leads them to walk even as Christ walked. Those who are living branches of the heavenly Vine will partake of the sap and nourishment of the Vine. They will not be withered and fruitless branches, but will show life and vigor, and will flourish and bear fruit to the glory of God. They will be careful to depart from all iniquity and to perfect holiness in the fear of God. {2T 441.2}

Like ancient Israel the church has dishonored her God by

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departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and Christ has departed. His Spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him. They have not the burden of the work. The solemn truths they profess to believe are not a reality to them. They have not genuine faith. Men and women will act out all the faith which they in reality possess. By their fruits ye shall know them. Not their profession, but the fruit they bear, shows the character of the tree. Many have a form of godliness, their names are upon the church records; but they have a spotted record in heaven. The recording angel has faithfully written their deeds. Every selfish act, every wrong word, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling, is faithfully chronicled in the book of records kept by the recording angel. {2T 441.3}

Very many who profess to be servants of Christ are none of His. They are deceiving their souls to their own destruction. While they profess to be servants of Christ, they are not living in obedience to His will. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Many, while professing to be servants of Christ, are obeying another master, working daily against the Master whom they profess to serve. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” {2T 442.1}

Earthly and selfish interests engage the soul, mind, and

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strength of God’s professed followers. To all intents and purposes they are servants of mammon. They have not experienced a crucifixion to the world, with its affections and lusts. But few among the many who profess to be Christ’s followers can say in the language of the apostle: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” If willing obedience and true love characterize the lives of the people of God, their light will shine with a holy brightness to the world. {2T 442.2}

The words which Christ addressed to His disciples were designed for all who should believe on His name: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.” A profession of godliness without the living principle is as utterly valueless as salt without its saving properties. An unprincipled professed Christian is a byword, a reproach to Christ, a dishonor to His name. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” {2T 443.1}

The good works of God’s people have a more powerful influence than words. By their virtuous life and unselfish acts the beholder is led to desire the same righteousness which produced so good fruit. He is charmed with that power from God which transforms selfish human beings into the divine image, and God is honored, His name glorified. But the Lord is

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dishonored and His cause reproached by His people’s being in bondage to the world. They are in friendship with the world, the enemies of God. Their only hope of salvation is to separate from the world and zealously maintain their separate, holy, and peculiar character. Oh! why will not God’s people comply with the conditions laid down in His word? If they would do this they would not fail to realize the excellent blessings freely given of God to the humble and obedient. {2T 443.2}

I was amazed as I beheld the terrible darkness of many of the members of our churches. The lack of true godliness was such that they were bodies of darkness and death, instead of being the light of the world. Many professed to love God, but in works denied Him. They did not love, serve, nor obey Him. Their own selfish interests were primary. With a large number there seemed to be an alarming lack of principle. They were swayed by unconsecrated influence and seemed to have no root in themselves. I inquired what these things meant. Why was there such a destitution of spirituality, so few who had a living experience in religious things? I was referred to the words of the prophet: “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols.” {2T 444.1}

The people of God were represented to me as in a backslidden state. They have not an eye single to the glory of God. Their own glory is prominent. They seek to glorify themselves

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and yet call themselves Christians. Holiness of heart and purity of life was the great subject of the teachings of Christ. In His Sermon on the Mount, after specifying what must be done in order to be blessed, and what must not be done, He says: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” {2T 444.2}

Perfection, holiness, nothing short of this, would give them success in carrying out the principles He had given them. Without this holiness the human heart is selfish, sinful, and vicious. Holiness will lead its possessor to be fruitful and abound in all good works. He will never become weary in well-doing, neither will he look for promotion in this world. He will look forward for promotion to the time when the Majesty of heaven shall exalt the sanctified ones to His throne. Then shall He say unto the m: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The Lord then enumerates the works of self-denial and mercy, compassion and righteousness, which they had wrought. Holiness of heart will produce right actions. It is the absence of spirituality, of holiness, which leads to unrighteous acts, to envy, hatred, jealousy, evil surmisings, and every hateful and abominable sin. {2T 445.1}

I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress an d terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities. I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved–not because they could not be saved , but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them

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while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate. {2T 445.2}

The words of Christ are plain: “Strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Not all professed Christians are Christians at heart. There are sinners in Zion now, as there were anciently. Isaiah speaks of them in referring to the day of God: “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of d efense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” {2T 446.1}

There are hypocrites now who will tremble when they obtain a view of themselves. Their own vileness will terrify them in that day which is soon to come upon us, a day when “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.” Oh, that terror might now lay hold upon them, that they might have a vivid sense of their condition and arouse while there is mercy and hope, confess their sins, and humble their souls greatly before God, that He might pardon their transgressions and heal their backslidings! The people of God are unready for the fearful, trying scenes before us, unready to stand pure from evil and lust amid the perils and corruptions of this degenerate age. They have not on the armor of righteousness, and are unprepared to war against the prevailing iniquity. Many are not obeying the commandments

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of God, yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God they would have a power which would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving. {2T 446.2}

I have sought to do my duty. I have pointed out the special sins of some. I was shown that in the wisdom of God the sins and errors of all would not be revealed. All would have sufficient light to see their sins and errors, if they desired to do so an d earnestly wished to put them away, and to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. They could see what sins God marked and reproved in others. If these were cherished by themselves, they should know that they were abhorred of God and were separated from Him; and that unless they earnestly and zealously set about the work of putting them away they would be left in darkness. God is too pure to behold iniquity. A sin is just as grievous in His sight in one case as in another. No exception will be made by an impartial God. All who are guilty are addressed in these individual testimonies, although their names may not be attached to the special testimony borne; and if individuals pass over and cover up their own sins because their names are not especially called, they will not be prospered of God. They cannot advance in the divine life, but will become darker and darker, until the light of heaven will be entirely withdrawn. {2T 447.1}

Those who profess godliness, yet are not sanctified by the truth which they profess, will not change materially their course of action, which they know is hateful before God, because they are not subjected to the trial of being reproved individually for their sins. They see, by the testimonies of others, their own case faithfully pointed out before them. They are cherishing the same evil. By continuing their course of sin, they are violating their consciences, hardening their hearts, and stiffening their necks, just the same as though the testimony had been borne directly to them. In passing on and

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refusing to put away their sins and correct their wrongs by humble confession, repentance, and humiliation, they choose their own way, and are given up to the same, and are finally led captive by Satan at his will. They may become quite bold because they are able to conceal their sins from others and because the judgments of God do not come in a visible manner upon them. They may be apparently prosperous in this world. They may deceive poor, shortsighted mortals and be regarded as patterns of piety while in their sins. But God cannot be deceived. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged,yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him : but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Although the life of a sinner may be prolonged upon the earth, yet not in the earth made new. He shall be of that number whom David mentions in his psalm: “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth.” {2T 447.2}

Mercy and truth are promised to the humble and penitent, but judgments are prepared for the sinful and rebellious. “Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.” A wicked and adulterous people will not escape the wrath of God and the punishment they have justly earned. Man has fallen; and it will be the work of a lifetime, be it longer or shorter, to recover from that fall, and regain, through Christ, the image of the divine, which he lost by sin and continued transgression. God requires a thorough transformation of soul, body, and spirit in order to regain the estate lost through Adam. The Lord mercifully sends rays of light to show man his true

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condition. If he will not walk in the light he manifests a pleasure in darkness. He will not come to the light lest his deeds shall be reproved. {2T 448.1}

The case of N. Fuller has caused me much grief and anguish of spirit. That he should yield himself to the control of Satan to work wickedness as he has done is terrible. I believe that God designed that this case of hypocrisy and villainy should be brought to light in the manner it has been, that it might prove a warning to others. Here is a man who was acquainted with the teachings of the Bible, and who had listened to testimonies borne by me in his presence against the very sins which he was practicing. More than once he had heard me speak decidedly in regard to the prevailing sins of this generation, that corruption was teeming everywhere, that base passions controlled men and women generally, that among the masses crimes of the darkest dye were continually practiced, and they were reeking in their own corruption. The nominal churches are filled with fornication and adultery, crime and murder, the result of base, lustful passion; but these things are kept covered. Ministers in high places are guilty; yet a cloak of godliness covers their dark deeds, and they pass on from year to year in their course of hypocrisy. The sins of the nominal churches have reached unto heaven, and the honest in heart will be brought to the light and come out of them. {2T 449.1}

From the light that God has given me, fornication and adultery are estimated by a large number of the first-day Adventists as sins which God winks at. These sins are practiced to a great extent. They do not acknowledge the claims of God’s law upon them. They have broken the commandments of the great Jehovah and zealously teach their hearers to do the same, declaring that the law of God is abolished and has no claims upon them. In accordance with this free state of things, sin does not appear so exceedingly sinful; “for by the

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law is the knowledge of sin.” We may expect to find in this company men who will deceive, and lie, and give loose rein to lustful passions. But men and women who acknowledge the Ten Commandments binding, who observe the fourth commandment of the Decalogue, should carry out in their lives the principles of all ten of the precepts given in awful grandeur from Sinai. {2T 449.2}

Seventh-day Adventists, who profess to be looking for and loving the appearing of Christ, should not follow the course of worldlings. These are no criterion for commandment keepers. Neither should they pattern after first-day Adventists, who refuse to acknowledge the claims of the law of God and trample it under their feet. This class should be no criterion for them. Commandment-keeping Adventists occupy a peculiar, exalted position. John viewed them in holy vision and thus described them: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” {2T 450.1}

The Lord made a special covenant with ancient Israel: “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” He addresses His commandment-keeping people in these last days: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” {2T 450.2}

Not all who profess to keep the commandments of God possess their bodies in sanctification and honor. The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been entrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they

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will be sanctified by it. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than is that of the classes I have named, who do not acknowledge the law of God as binding upon them. In a peculiar sense do those who profess to keep God’s law dishonor Him and reproach the truth by transgressing its precepts. {2T 450.3}

It was the prevalence of this very sin, fornication, among ancient Israel, which brought upon them the signal manifestation of God’s displeasure. His judgments then followed close upon their heinous sin; thousands fell, and their polluted bodies were left in the wilderness. “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” {2T 451.1}

Seventh-day Adventists, above all other people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation. I related in the presence of N. Fuller that the people whom God had chosen as His peculiar treasure were required to be elevated, refined, sanctified, partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through

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lust. Should they who make so high a profession indulge in sin and iniquity, their guilt would be very great. The Lord reproves the sins of one, that others may take warning and fear. {2T 451.2}

Warnings and reproofs are not given to the erring among Seventh-day Adventists because their lives are more blameworthy than are the lives of professed Christians of the nominal churches, nor because their example or their acts are worse than those of the Adventists who will not yield obedience to the claims of God’s law, but because they have great light, and have by their profession taken their position as God’s special, chosen people, having the law of God written in their hearts. They signify their loyalty to the God of heaven by yielding obedience to the laws of His government. They are God’s representatives upon the earth. Any sin in them separates them from God and, in a special manner, dishonors His name by giving the enemies of His holy law occasion to reproach His cause and His people, whom He has called “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,” that they should show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. {2T 452.1}

The people who are at war with the law of the great Jehovah, who consider it a special virtue to talk, write, and act the most bitter and hateful things to show their contempt of that law, may make exalted profession of love to God, and apparently have much religious zeal, as did the Jewish chief priests and elders; yet, in the day of God, “Found wanting” will be said of them by the Majesty of heaven. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The mirror which would discover to them the defects in their characters, they are infuriated against, because it points out their sins. Leading Adventists who have rejected the light are fired with madness against God’s holy law,as the Jewish nation were against the Son of God. They are in a terrible deception, deceiving others and being deceived

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themselves. They will not come to the light, lest their deeds should be reproved. Such will not be taught. But the Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear and be prepared to die in the Lord or to be translated to heaven. God rebukes, reproves, and corrects them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to His own throne. {2T 452.2}

Elder Fuller has heard the testimony borne in public, that the professed people of God were not all holy, that some were corrupt. God sought to elevate them, but they refused to come up upon a high plane of action. The corrupt animal passions bore sway, and the moral and intellectual powers were overborne and made their servants. Those who do not control their base passions cannot appreciate the atonement or place a right value upon the soul. Salvation is not experienced or understood by them. The gratification of animal passion is the highest ambition of their lives. God will accept nothing but purity and holiness; one spot, one wrinkle, one defect in the character, will forever debar them from heaven, with all its glories and treasures. {2T 453.1}

Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength, grace, and glory have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, cease their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness; and He bids them live and not die. In Him they may flourish. Their branches

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will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in Him, they can draw sap and nourishment from Him, be imbued with His Spirit, walk even as He walked, overcome as He overcame, and be exalted to His own right hand. {2T 453.2}

Elder Fuller has been warned. The warnings given to others condemned him. The sins reproved in others reproved him and gave him sufficient light to see how God regarded crimes of such a character as he was committing, yet he would not turn from his evil course. He continued to pursue his fearful, impious work, corrupting the bodies and souls of his flock. Satan had strengthened the lustful passions which this man did not subdue, and engaged them in his cause to lead souls to death. {2T 454.1}

While he professed to keep the law of God, he was, in a most wanton manner, violating its plain precepts. He has given himself up to the gratification of sensual pleasure. He has sold himself to work wickedness. What will be the wages of such a man? The indignation and wrath of God will punish him for sin. The vengeance of God will be aroused against all those whose lustful passions have been concealed under a ministerial cloak. While professing to be a shepherd of the flock, he was leading the flock to certain ruin. These dreadful results are the fruits of the carnal mind, which “is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” {2T 454.2}

I was referred to this scripture: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Professed Christians, if no further light is given you than that contained in this text, you will be without excuse if you suffer yourselves to be controlled by base passions. {2T 454.3}

The word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most

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beclouded mind and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the word that they have neglected to follow. Yet those who serve their own lusts turn from all this light. They will not cease their course of sin, but continue to take pleasure in unrighteousness in the face of the threatenings and vengeance of God against those who do such things. {2T 454.4}

I have long been designing to speak to my sisters and tell them that, from what the Lord has been pleased to show me from time to time, there is a great fault among them. They are not careful to abstain from all appearance of evil. They are not all circumspect in their deportment, as becometh women professing godliness. Their words are not as select and well chosen as those of women who have received the grace of God should be. They are too familiar with their brethren. They linger around them, incline toward them, and seem to choose their society. They are highly gratified with their attention. {2T 455.1}

From the light which the Lord has given me, our sisters should pursue a very different course. They should be more reserved, manifest less boldness, and encourage in themselves “shamefacedness and sobriety.” Both brethren and sisters indulge in too much jovial talk when in each other’s society. Women professing godliness indulge in much jesting, joking, and laughing. This is unbecoming and grieves the Spirit of God. These exhibitions reveal a lack of true Christian refinement. They do not strengthen the soul in God, but bring great darkness; they drive away the pure, refined, heavenly angels and bring those who engage in these wrongs down to a low level. {2T 455.2}

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Our sisters should encourage true meekness; they should not be forward, talkative, and bold, but modest and unassuming, slow to speak. They may cherish courteousness. To be kind, tender, pitiful, forgiving, and humble, would be becoming and well pleasing to God. If they occupy this position they will not be burdened with undue attention from gentlemen in the church or out. All will feel that there is a sacred circle of purity around these God-fearing women, which shields them from any unwarrantable liberties. {2T 456.1}

With some women professing godliness, there is a careless, coarse freedom of manner which leads to wrong and evil. But those godly women whose minds and hearts are occupied in meditating upon themes which strengthen purity of life, and which elevate the soul to commune with God, will not be easily led astray from the path of rectitude and virtue. Such will be fortified against the sophistry of Satan; they will be prepared to withstand his seductive arts. {2T 456.2}

Vainglory, the fashion of the world, the desire of the eye, and the lust of the flesh are connected with the fall of the unfortunate. That which is pleasing to the natural heart and carnal mind is cherished. If the lust of the flesh had been rooted out of their hearts they would not be so weak. If our sisters would feel the necessity of purifying their thoughts, and never suffer in themselves a carelessness of deportment which leads to improper acts, they need not in the least stain their purity. If they viewed the matter as God has presented it to me, they would have such an abhorrence of impure acts that they would not be found among those who fall through the temptations of Satan, no matter whom he might select as the medium. {2T 456.3}

A preacher may be dealing in sacred, holy things, and yet not be holy in heart. He may give himself to Satan to work wickedness and to corrupt the souls and bodies of his flock.

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Yet if the minds of women and youth professing to love and fear God were fortified with His Spirit, if they had trained their minds to purity of thought and educated themselves to avoid all appearance of evil, they would be safe from any improper advances and be secure from the corruption prevailing around them. The apostle Paul wrote concerning himself: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” {2T 456.4}

If a minister of the gospel does not control his baser passions, if he fails to follow the example of the apostle and so dishonors his profession and faith as to even name the indulgence of sin, our sisters who profess godliness should not for an instant flatter themselves that sin or crime loses its sinfulness in the least because their minister dares to engage in it. The fact that men who are in responsible places show themselves to be familiar with sin should not lessen the guilt and enormity of the sin in the minds of any. Sin should appear just as sinful, just as abhorrent, as it had been heretofore regarded; and the minds of the pure and elevated should abhor and shun the one who indulges in sin, as they would flee from a serpent whose sting was deadly. {2T 457.1}

If the sisters were elevated and possessed purity of heart, any corrupt advances, even from their minister, would be repulsed with such positiveness as would never need a repetition. Minds must be terribly befogged by Satan when they can listen to the voice of the seducer because he is a minister, and therefore break God’s plain and positive commands and flatter themselves that they commit no sin. Have we not the words of John: “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, an d the truth is not in him”? What saith the law? “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” When a man professing to keep God’s holy law, and ministering in

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sacred things, takes advantage of the confidence his position gives him and seeks to indulge his base passions, this fact should of itself be sufficient to enable a woman professing godliness to see that, although his profession is as exalted as the heavens, an impure proposal coming from him is from Satan disguised as an angel of light. I cannot believe that the word of God is abiding in the hearts of those who so readily yield up their innocency and virtue upon the altar of lustful passions. {2T 457.2}

My sisters, avoid even the appearance of evil. In this fast age, reeking with corruption, you are not safe unless you stand guarded. Virtue and modesty are rare. I appeal to you as followers of Christ, making an exalted profession, to cherish the precious, priceless gem of modesty. This will guard virtue. If you have any hope of being finally exalted to join the company of the pure, sinless angels, and to live in an atmosphere where there is not the least taint of sin, cherish modesty and virtue.Nothing but purity, sacred purity, will stand the grand review, abide the day of God, and be received into a pure and holy heaven. {2T 458.1}

The slightest insinuations, from whatever source they may come, inviting you to indulge in sin or to allow the least unwarrantable liberty with your persons, should be resented as the worst of insults to your dignified womanhood. The kiss upon your cheek, at an improper time and place, should lead you to repel the emissary of Satan with disgust. If it is from one in high places who is dealing in sacred things, the sin is of tenfold greater magnitude, and should lead a God-fearing woman or youth to recoil with horror, not only from the sin he would have you commit, but from the hypocrisy and villainy of one whom the people respect and honor as God’s servant. He is handling sacred things, yet hiding his baseness of heart under a ministerial cloak. Be afraid of anything like this familiarity. Be sure that the least approach to it is evidence of

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a lascivious mind and a lustful eye. If the least encouragement is given in this direction, if any of the liberties mentioned are tolerated, no better evidence can be given that your mind is not pure and chaste as it should be, and that sin and crime have charms for you. You lower the standard of your dignified, virtuous womanhood, and give unmistakable evidence that a low, brutal, common passion and lust has been suffered to remain alive in your heart and has never been crucified. {2T 458.2}

As I have been shown the dangers of those who profess better things, and the sins that exist among them,–a class who are not suspected of being in any danger from these polluting sins,–I have been led to inquire: Who, O Lord, shall stand when Thou appearest? Only those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall abide the day of His coming. {2T 459.1}

I feel impelled by the Spirit of the Lord to urge my sisters who profess godliness to cherish modesty of deportment and a becoming reserve, with shamefacedness and sobriety. The liberties taken in this age of corruption should be no criterion for Christ’s followers. These fashionable exhibitions of familiarity should not exist among Christians fitting for immortality. If lasciviousness, pollution, adultery, crime, and murder are the order of the day among those who know not the truth, and who refuse to be controlled by the principles of God’s word, how important that the class professing to be followers of Christ, closely allied to God and angels, should show them a better and nobler way. How important that by their chastity and virtue they stand in marked contrast to that class who are controlled by brute passions. {2T 459.2}

I have inquired: When will the youthful sisters act with propriety? I know there will be no decided change for the better until parents feel the importance of greater carefulness in educating their children correctly. Teach them to act with reserve an d modesty. Educate them for usefulness, to be helps,

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to minister to others rather than to be waited upon and be ministered unto. {2T 459.3}

Satan controls the minds of the youth in general. Your daughters are not taught self-denial and self-control. They are petted, and their pride is fostered. They are allowed to have their own way until they become headstrong and self-willed, and you are put to your wit’s end to know what course to pursue to save them from ruin. Satan is leading them on to be a proverb in the mouth of unbelievers because of their boldness, their lack of reserve and womanly modesty. The young boys are likewise left to have their own way. They have scarcely entered their teens before they are by the side of little girls of their own age, accompanying them home and making love to them. And the parents are so completely in bondage through their own indulgence and mistaken love for their children that they dare not pursue a decided course to make a change and restrain their too-fast children in this fast age. {2T 460.1}

With many young ladies the boys are the theme of conversation; with the young men, it is the girls. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” They talk of those subjects upon which their minds mostly run. The recording angel is writing the words of these professed Christian boys and girls. How will they be confused and ashamed when they meet them again in the day of God! Many children are pious hypocrites. The youth who have not made a profession of religion stumble over these hypocritical ones and are hardened against any effort that may be made by those interested in their salvation. {2T 460.2}

There ought to be picked men at the heart of the work, men who in every emergency can be relied upon to keep the fort, men who are unselfish, abounding in generosity and all good works, whose lives are hid in God, and who consider the better life of more value than food and clothing. “Is not the

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life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” God calls for faithful sentinels right at the heart of the work, who will love souls for whom Christ died, and who will bear the burden for perishing souls, looking forward to that recompense of reward which will be theirs when they enter into the joy of their Lord and behold souls saved through their instrumentality to live as long as God shall live, and be happy, eternally happy, in His glorious kingdom. Oh, that we could arouse fathers and mothers to a sense of their duty! Oh, that they would feel deeply the weight of responsibility resting upon them! Then they might forestall the enemy and gain precious victories for Jesus. Parents are not clear in this matter. They should closely investigate their lives, analyze their thoughts and motives, and see if they have been circumspect in their course of action. They should watch closely to see if their example in conversation and deportment has been such as they would wish their children to imitate. Purity and virtue should shine out in their words and acts before their children. {2T 460.3}

I have been shown families where the husband and father has not preserved that reserve, that dignified, godlike manhood, which is befitting a follower of Christ. He has failed to perform the kind, tender, courteous acts due to his wife, whom he has promised before God and angels to love, respect, and honor while they both shall live.The girl employed to do the work has been free and somewhat forward to dress his hair and to be affectionately attentive, and he is pleased, foolishly pleased. In his love and attention to his wife he is not as demonstrative as he once was. Be sure that Satan is at work here. Respect your hired help, treat them kindly, considerately, but go no further. Let your deportment be such that there will be no advances to familiarity from them. If you have words of kindness and acts of courtesy to give, it is always safe to give them to your wife. It will be a great blessing to her, and will

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bring happiness to her heart, to be reflected upon you again. {2T 461.1}

I have been shown also that the wife has let her sympathies and interest and affection go out to other men, who may be members of the family. She makes these her confidants, shows a preference for their society, and relates to them her troubles and perhaps her private family matters. {2T 462.1}

This is all wrong. Satan is at the bottom of it; and unless you are alarmed and stop just where you are, he will lead you to ruin. You cannot observe too great caution and encourage too much reserve in this matter. If you have tender, loving words and kindly attentions to bestow, let them be given to him whom you have promised before God and angels to love, respect, and honor while you both shall live. Oh, how many lives are made bitter by the breaking down of the walls which enclose the privacies of e very family and which are calculated to preserve its purity and sanctity! A third person is taken into the confidence of the wife, and her private family matters are laid open before the special friend. This is the device of Satan to estrange the hearts of the husband and wife. Oh, that this would cease! what a world of trouble would be saved! Lock within your own hearts the knowledge of each other’s faults. Tell your troubles alone to God. He can give you right counsel and sure consolation, which will be pure, having no bitterness in it. {2T 462.2}

I am acquainted with a number of women who have thought their marriage a misfortune. They have read novels until their imaginations have become diseased, and they live in a world of their own creating. They think themselves women of sensitive minds, of superior, refined organizations, and imagine that their husbands are not so refined, that they do not possess these superior qualities, and therefore cannot appreciate their own supposed virtue and refined organizations. Consequently these women think themselves great

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sufferers, martyrs. They have talked of this and thought upon it until they are nearly maniacs upon this subject. They imagine their worth superior to that of other mortals, and it is not agreeable to their fine sensibilities to associate with common humanity. These women are making themselves fools; and their husbands are in danger of thinking that they do possess a superior order of mind. {2T 462.3}

From what the Lord has shown me, the women of this class have had their imaginations perverted by novel reading, daydreaming, and castle-building, living in an imaginary world. They do not bring their own ideas down to the common, useful duties of life. They do not take up the life burdens which lie in their path, and seek to make a happy, cheerful home for their husbands. They rest their whole weight upon them, not bearing their own burden. They expect others to anticipate their wants and do for them, while they are at liberty to find fault and to question as they please. These women have a lovesick sentimentalism, constantly thinking they are not appreciated, that their husbands do not give them all the attention they deserve. They imagine themselves martyrs. {2T 463.1}

The truth of the matter is, if they would show themselves useful their value might be appreciated; but when they pursue a course to constantly draw upon others for sympathy and attention, while they feel under no obligation to give the same in return, passing along reserved, cold, and unapproachable, bearing no burden for others and having no feeling for their woes, there can be in their lives but little that is valuable. These women have educated themselves to think and act as though it was a great condescension in them to marry the men they did, and that therefore their fine organizations would never be fully appreciated. They have viewed things all wrong. They are unworthy of their husbands. They are a constant tax upon their care and patience, when they might be helps, lifting

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the burdens of life with them, instead of dreaming over unreal life found in novels and love romances. May the Lord pity the men who are bound to such useless machines, fit only to be waited upon, to breathe, eat, and dress. {2T 463.2}

These women who suppose they possess such sensitive, refined organizations make very useless wives and mothers. It is frequently the case that they withdraw their affections from their husbands, who are useful, practical men, and show much attention to other men, and with their lovesick sentimentalism draw upon the sympathies of others, tell them their trials, their troubles, their aspirations to do some elevated work, and reveal the fact that their married life is a disappointment, a hindrance to their doing the work they had hoped to do. {2T 464.1}

Oh, what wretchedness exists in families that might be happy! These women are a curse to themselves and a curse to their husbands. In supposing themselves to be angels, they make themselves fools, and are nothing but heavy burdens. The common duties of life which the Lord has left for them to do, they leave right in their path, and are restless and complaining, always looking for an easy, more exalted, and more agreeable work. Supposing themselves to be angels, they are found human after all. They are fretful, peevish, dissatisfied, jealous of their husbands because the larger portion of their time is not spent waiting upon them. They complain of being neglected when their husbands are doing the very work they ought to do. Satan finds easy access to this class. They have no real love for anyone but themselves. Yet Satan tells them that if such a one were their husband, they would be happy indeed. They are easy victims to the device of Satan, being readily led to dishonor their own husbands and to transgress the law of God. {2T 464.2}

I would say to women of this description: You can make or destroy your own happiness. You can make your position

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happy or unbearable. The course which you pursue will create happiness or misery for yourself. Have these persons never thought that their husbands must tire of them in their uselessness, their peevishness, their faultfinding, their passionate fits of weeping while imagining their case so pitiful? Their irritable, peevish disposition is indeed weaning from them the affections of their husbands and driving them to seek for sympathy, and peace, and comfort elsewhere than at home. A poisonous atmosphere is in their dwelling, and home is to them anything but a place of rest, peace, or happiness. The husband is subject to Satan’s temptation, and his affections are placed on forbidden objects, and he is lured on to crime and finally lost. {2T 464.3}

Great is the work and mission of women, especially those who are wives and mothers. They can be a blessing to all around them. They can have a powerful influence for good if they will let their light so shine that others may be led to glorify our heavenly Father. Women may have a transforming influence if they will only consent to yield their way and their will to God, and let Him control their mind, affections, and being. They can have an influence which will tend to refine and elevate those with whom they associate. But this class are generally unconscious of the power they possess. They exert an unconscious influence which seems to work out naturally from a sanctified life, a renewed heart. It is the fruit that grows naturally upon the good tree of divine planting. Self is forgotten, merged in the life of Christ. To be rich in good works is as natural as their breath. They live to do others good and yet are ready to say: We are unprofitable servants. {2T 465.1}

God has assigned woman her mission; and if she, in her humble way, yet to the best of her ability, makes a heaven of her home, faithfully and lovingly performing her duties to her husband and children, continually seeking to let a holy

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light shine from her useful, pure, and virtuous life to brighten all around her, she is doing the work left her of the Master, and will hear from His divine lips the words: Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. These women who are doing with ready willingness what their hands find to do, with cheerfulness of spirit aiding their husbands to bear their burdens, and training their children for God, are missionaries in the highest sense. They are engaged in an important branch of the great work to be done on earth to prepare mortals for a higher life, and they will receive their reward. Children are to be trained for heaven and fitted to shine in the courts of t he Lord’s kingdom. When parents, especially mothers, have a true sense of the important, responsible work which God has left for them to do, they will not be so much engaged in the business which concerns their neighbors, with which they have nothing to do . They will not go from house to house to engage in fashionable gossip, dwelling upon the faults, wrongs, and inconsistencies of their neighbors. They will feel so great a burden of care for their own children that they can find no time to take up a reproach against their neighbor. Gossipers and news carriers are a terrible curse to neighborhoods and churches. Two thirds of all the church trials arise from this source. {2T 465.2}

God requires all to do with faithfulness the duties of today. This is much neglected by the larger share of professed Christians. Especially is present duty lost sight of by the class I have mentioned, who imagine that they are of a finer order of beings than their fellow mortals around them. The fact that their minds turn in this channel is proof that they are of an inferior order, narrow, conceited, and selfish. They feel high above the lowly and humble poor, such as Jesus says He has called. They are forever trying to secure position, to gain applause, to obtain credit for doing some great work that others cannot do. But it disturbs the fine grain of their refined organism

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to associate with the humble, the unfortunate. They mistake the reason altogether. The reason why they shun any of these duties not so agreeable is found in their supreme selfishness. Dear self is the center of all their actions and motives. {2T 466.1}

I was pointed to the Majesty of heaven. When He whom angels worshiped, He who was rich in honor, splendor, and glory, came to the earth, and found Himself in fashion as a man, He did not plead His refined nature as an excuse to hold Himself aloof from the unfortunate. In His work He was found among the afflicted, the poor, distressed, and needy ones. Christ was the embodiment of refinement and purity; His was an exalted life and character; yet in His labor He was found not among men of high-sounding titles, not among the most honorable of this world, but with the despised and needy. I came, says the divine Teacher, “to save that which was lost.” Yes; the Majesty of heaven was ever found working to help those who most needed help. May the example of Christ put to shame the excuses of that class who are so attracted to their poor selves that they consider it beneath their refined taste and their high calling to help the most helpless. Such have taken a position higher than their Lord, and in the end will be astonished to find themselves lower than the lowest of that class whom their refined, sensitive natures were shocked to mingle with and work for. True, it may not always be agreeable to unite with the Master and become co-workers with Him in helping the very class who stand most in need of help; but this is the work which Christ humbled Himself to do. Is the servant greater than his Lord? He has given the example, and enjoins upon us to copy it. It may be disagreeable, yet duty demands that just such a work be performed. {2T 467.1}

Faithful and picked men are needed at the head of the work. Those who have not had an experience in bearing burdens, and who do not wish to have that experience, should not, on any account, live there. Men are wanted who will watch for

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souls as they that must give an account. Fathers and mothers in Israel are wanted at this important post. Let the selfish and self-caring, the stingy, covetous souls, find a location where their miserable traits of character will not be so conspicuous. The more isolated such ones are, the better for the cause of God. I appeal to the people of God, wherever they may be found: Awake to your duty. Take it to heart that we are really living amid the perils of the last days. {2T 467.2}

I hope that the case of N. Fuller will awaken you, fathers and mothers, to see the necessity of thorough work in your houses, among yourselves and your children, that not one of you may be so deluded by Satan as to regard sin as this poor,much-to-be-pitied man has done. Those who have participated with him in crime would never have been left to be deceived and ruined had they possessed a high sense of virtue and purity, and cherished a constant and lively horror of sin and iniquity. While living under and proclaiming the most solemn message ever borne to mortals, presenting the law of God as a test of character and as the seal of the living God, they are transgressing its holy precepts. The consciences of those who do this have become seared and terribly hardened. They have resisted the influences of the Spirit of God until they can use sacred truth as a cloak to hide the deformity of their corrupted souls. This man has been terribly deluded by Satan. He has been serving vicious passions while professing to be consecrated to the work of God, ministering in sacred things. He has considered himself in health while there was no soundness in him. {2T 468.1}

I have felt deeply as I have seen the powerful influence of animal passions in controlling men and women of no ordinary intelligence and ability. They would be capable of engaging in a good work, of exerting a powerful influence, were they not enslaved by base passions. My confidence in humanity

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has been terribly shaken. I have been shown that persons of apparently good deportment, not taking unwarrantable liberties with the other sex, were guilty of practicing secret vice nearly every day of their lives. They have not refrained from this terrible sin even while most solemn meetings have been in session. They have listened to the most solemn, impressive discourses upon the judgment, which seemed to bring them before the tribunal of God, causing them to fear and quake; yet hardly an hour would elapse before they would be engaged in their favorite, bewitching sin, polluting their own bodies. They were such slaves to this awful crime that they seemed devoid of power to control their passions. We have labored for some earnestly, we have entreated, we have wept and prayed over them; yet we have known that right amid all our earnest effort and distress the force of sinful habit has obtained the mastery, and these sins have been committed. {2T 468.2}

Through severe attacks of sickness or by powerful conviction the consciences of some of the guilty have been aroused and have so scourged them that it has led to confession of these things with deep humiliation. Others are equally guilty. They have practiced this sin nearly their whole lifetime and, in their broken-down constitutions and sievelike memories, are reaping the result of this pernicious habit; yet they are too proud to confess. They are secretive, and have not shown compunctions of conscience for this great sin. My confidence in the Christian experience of such is very small. They seem to be insensible to the influence of the Spirit of God. The sacred and common are alike to them. The common practice of a vice so degrading as the polluting of their own bodies has not led to bitter tears and heartfelt repentance. They feel that their sin is against themselves alone. Here they mistake. Are they diseased in body or mind,others are made to feel, others suffer. The imagination is at fault, the memory is deficient,

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mistakes are made, and there is a deficiency everywhere which seriously affects those with whom they live and who associate with them. Mortification and regret are felt because these things are known by others. {2T 469.1}

I have mentioned these cases to illustrate the power of this soul-and-body-destroying vice. The entire mind is given up to low passion. The moral and intellectual faculties are over-borne by the baser powers. The body is enervated,the brain weakened. The material deposited there to nourish the system is squandered. The drain upon the system is great. The fine nerves of the brain, being excited to unnatural action, become benumbed and in a measure paralyzed. The moral and intellectual powers are weakening, while the animal passions are strengthening and being more largely developed by exercise. The appetite for unhealthful food clamors for indulgence. When persons are addicted to the habit of self-abuse, it is impossible to arouse their moral sensibilities to appreciate eternal things or to delight in spiritual exercises. Impure thoughts seize and control the imagination and fascinate the mind, and next follows an almost uncontrollable desire for the performance of impure actions. If the mind were educated to contemplate elevating subjects, the imagination trained to reflect upon pure and holy things, it would be fortified against this terrible, debasing,soul-and-body-destroying indulgence. It would, by training, become accustomed to linger upon the high, the heavenly, the pure, and the sacred, and could not be attracted to this base, corrupt, and vile indulgence. {2T 470.1}

What can we say of those who are living right in the blazing light of truth, yet daily practicing and following in a course of sin and crime? Forbidden, exciting pleasures have a charm for them and hold and control their entire being. Such take pleasure in unrighteousness and iniquity, and must perish outside of the city of God, with every abominable thing. {2T 470.2}

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I have sought to arouse parents to their duty, yet they sleep on. Your children are practicing secret vice, and they deceive you. You have such implicit confidence in them that you think them too good and innocent to be capable of secretly practicing iniquity. Parents fondle and pet their children, and indulge them in pride, but do not restrain them with firmness and decision. They are so much afraid of their willful, stubborn spirits that they fear to come in contact with them; the sin of negligence, which was marked against Eli, will be their sin. The exhortation of Peter is of the highest value to all who are striving for immortality. He addresses those of like precious faith: {2T 471.1}

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

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for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” {2T 471.2}

We are in a world where light and knowledge abound, yet many claiming to be of like precious faith are willingly ignorant. Light is all around them, yet they do not appropriate it to themselves. Parents do not see the necessity of informing themselves , obtaining knowledge, and putting it to a practical use in their married life. If they followed out the exhortation of the apostle, and lived upon the plan of addition, they would not be unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But many do not understand the work of sanctification. They seem to think they have attained to it, when they have learned only the first lessons in addition. Sanctification is a progressive work; it is not attained to in an hour or a day, and then maintained without an y special effort on our part. {2T 472.1}

Many parents do not obtain the knowledge that they should in the married life. They are not guarded lest Satan take advantage of them and control their minds and their lives. They do not see that God requires them to control their married lives from any excesses. But very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions. They have united themselves in marriage to the object of their choice, and therefore reason that marriage sanctifies the indulgence of the baser passions. Even men and women professing godliness give loose rein to their lustful passions, and have no thought that God holds them accountable for the expenditure of vital energy, which weakens their hold on life and enervates the entire system. {2T 472.2}

The marriage covenant covers sins of the darkest hue. Men and women professing godliness debase their own bodies through the indulgence of the corrupt passions, and thus lower themselves beneath the brute creation. They abuse the powers which God has given them to be preserved in sanctification

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and honor. Health and life are sacrificed upon the altar of base passion. The higher, nobler powers are brought into subjection to the animal propensities. Those who thus sin are not acquainted with the result of their course. Could all see the amount of suffering which they bring upon themselves by their own sinful indulgence, they would be alarmed, and some, at least, would shun the course of sin which brings such dreaded wages. So miserable an existence is entailed upon a large class that death would to them be preferable to life; and many do die prematurely, their lives sacrificed in the inglorious work of excessive indulgence of the animal passions. Yet because they are married they think they commit no sin. {2T 472.3}

Men and women, you will one day learn what is lust and the result of its gratification. Passion of just as base a quality may be found in the marriage relation as outside of it. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” It is not pure love which actuates a man to make his wife an instrument to minister to his lust. It is the animal passions which clamor for indulgence. How few men show their love in the manner specified by the apostle: “Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might [not pollute it, but] sanctify and cleanse it; . . . that it should be holy and without blemish.” This is the quality of love in the marriage relation which God recognizes as holy. Love is a pure and holy principle; but lustful passion will not admit of restraint, and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason. It is blind to consequences; it will not reason from cause to effect. Many women are suffering from great debility and settled disease because the laws of their being have been

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disregarded; nature’s laws have been trampled upon. The brain nerve power is squandered by men and women, being called into unnatural action to gratify base passions; and this hideous monster, base, low passion, assumes the delicate name of love. {2T 473.1}

Many professed Christians who passed before me seemed destitute of moral restraint. They were more animal than divine. In fact, they were about all animal. Men of this type degrade the wife whom they have promised to nourish and cherish. She is made an instrument to minister to the gratification of low, lustful propensities. And very many women submit to become slaves to lustful passion; they do not possess their bodies in sanctification and honor. The wife does not retain the dignity and self-respect which she possessed previous to marriage. This holy institution should have preserved and increased her womanly respect and holy dignity; but her chaste, dignified, godlike womanhood has been consumed upon the altar of base passion; it has been sacrificed to please her husband. She soon loses respect for the husband, who does not regard the laws to which the brute creation yield obedience. The married life becomes a galling yoke; for love dies out, and frequently distrust, jealousy, and hate take its place. {2T 474.1}

No man can truly love his wife when she will patiently submit to become his slave and minister to his depraved passions. In her passive submission, she loses the value she once possessed in his eyes. He sees her dragged down from everything elevating, to a low level; and soon he suspects that she will as tamely submit to be degraded by another as by himself. He doubts her constancy and purity, tires of her, and seeks new objects to arouse and intensify his hellish passions. The law of God is not regard ed. These men are worse than brutes; they are demons in human form. They are unacquainted with the elevating, ennobling principles of true, sanctified love. {2T 474.2}

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The wife also becomes jealous of the husband and suspects that if opportunity should offer he would just as readily pay his addresses to another as to her. She sees that he is not controlled by conscience or the fear of God; all these sanctified barriers are broken down by lustful passions; all that is god-like in the husband is made the servant of low, brutish lust. {2T 475.1}

The world is filled with men and women of this order; and neat, tasty, yea, expensive houses contain a hell within. Imagine, if you can, what must be the offspring of such parents. Will not the children sink still lower in the scale? The parents give the stamp of character to their children. Therefore children that are born of these parents inherit from them qualities of mind which are of a low, base order. And Satan nourishes anything tending to corruption. The matter now to be settled is: Shall the wife feel bound to yield implicitly to the demands of her husband, when she sees that nothing but base passions control him, and when her reason and judgment are convinced that she does it to the injury of her body, which God has enjoined upon her to possess in sanctification and honor, to preserve as a living sacrifice to God? {2T 475.2}

It is not pure, holy love which leads the wife to gratify the animal propensities of her husband at the expense of health and life. If she possesses true love and wisdom, she will seek to divert his mind from the gratification of lustful passions to high and spiritual themes by dwelling upon interesting spiritual subjects. It may be necessary to humbly and affectionately urge, even at the risk of his displeasure, that she cannot debase her body by yielding to sexual excess. She should, in a tender, kind manner, remind him that God has the first and highest claim upon her entire being, and that she cannot disregard this claim, for she will be held accountable in the great day of God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and

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ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” {2T 475.3}

If she will elevate her affections, and in sanctification and honor preserve her refined, womanly dignity, woman can do much by her judicious influence to sanctify her husband, and thus fulfill her high mission. In so doing, she can save both her husband and herself, thus performing a double work. In this matter, so delicate and so difficult to manage, much wisdom and patience are necessary, as well as moral courage and fortitude. Strength and grace can be found in prayer. Sincere love is to be the ruling principle of the heart. Love to God and love to the husband can alone be the right ground of action. {2T 476.1}

Let the wife decide that it is the husband’s prerogative to have full control of her body, and to mold her mind to suit his in every respect, to run in the same channel as his own, and she yields her individuality; her identity is lost, merged in that of her husband. She is a mere machine for his will to move and control, a creature of his pleasure. He thinks for her, decides for her, and acts for her. She dishonors God in occupying this passive position. She has a responsibility before God which it is her duty to preserve. {2T 476.2}

When the wife yields her body and mind to the control of her husband, being passive to his will in all things, sacrificing her conscience, her dignity, and even her identity, she loses the opportunity of exerting that mighty influence for good which s he should possess to elevate her husband. She could soften his stern nature, and her sanctifying influence could be exerted in a manner to refine and purify, leading him to strive earnestly to govern his passions and be more spiritually minded, that they might be partakers together of the divine

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nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The power of influence can be great to lead the mind to high and noble themes, above the low, sensual indulgences for which the heart unrenewed by grace naturally seeks. If the wife feels that in order to please her husband she must come down to his standard, when animal passion is the principal basis of his love and controls his actions, she displeases God; for she fails to exert a sanctifying influence upon her husband. If she feels that she must submit to his animal passions without a word of remonstrance, she does not understand her duty to him nor to her God. Sexual excess will effectually destroy a love for devotional exercises, will take from the brain the substance needed to nourish the system, and will most effectively exhaust the vitality. No woman should aid her husband in this work of self-destruction. She will not do it if she is enlightened and has true love for him. {2T 476.3}

The more the animal passions are indulged, the stronger do they become, and the more violent will be their clamors for indulgence. Let God-fearing men and women awake to their duty. Many professed Christians are suffering with paralysis of nerve and brain because of their intemperance in this direction. Rottenness is in the bones and marrow of many who are regarded as good men, who pray and weep, and who stand in high places, but whose polluted carcasses will never pass the portals of the heavenly city. {2T 477.1}

Oh, that I could make all understand their obligation to God to preserve the mental and physical organism in the best condition to render perfect service to their Maker! Let the Christian wife refrain, both in word and act, from exciting the animal passions of her husband. Many have no strength at all to waste in this direction. From their youth up they have weakened the brain and sapped the constitution by the gratification of animal passions. Self-denial and temperance should

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be the watchword in their married life; then the children born to them will not be so liable to have the moral and intellectual organs weak, and the animal strong. Vice in children is almost universal. Is there not a cause? Who have given them the stamp of character? May the Lord open the eyes of all to see that they are standing in slippery places! {2T 477.2}

From the picture that has been presented before me of the corruption of men and women professing godliness, I have feared that I should altogether lose confidence in humanity. I have seen that a fearful stupor is upon nearly all. It is almost impossible to arouse the very ones who should be awakened, so as to have any just sense of the power which Satan holds over minds. They are not aware of the corruption teeming all around them. Satan has blinded their minds and lulled them to carnal security. The failures in our efforts to bring others up to understand the great dangers that beset souls have sometimes led me to fear that my ideas of the depravity of the human heart were exaggerated. But when facts are brought to us showing the sad deformity of one who has dared to minister in sacred things while corrupt at heart, one whose sin-stained hands have profaned the vessels of the Lord, I am sure that I have not drawn the picture any too strong. {2T 478.1}

I have been bearing a very strong testimony, both in writing and in speaking, hoping to awaken God’s people to understand that they have fallen upon perilous times. I have felt sick at heart at the indifference manifested by those who should understand the workings of Satan, and who ought to be awake and guarded. I have seen that Satan is leading the minds of even those who profess the truth to indulge in the terrible sin of fornication. The mind of a man or woman does not come down in a moment from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to transform the human to the divine, or to degrade those formed in the image

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of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. Though formed in the image of his Maker, man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him. As he ceases to watch and pray, he ceases to guard the citadel, the heart, and engages in sin and crime. The mind is debased, and it is impossible to elevate it from corruption while it is being educated to enslave the moral and intellectual powers, and bring them in subjection to grosser passions. Constant war against the carnal mind must be maintained; and we must be aided by the refining influence of the grace of God, which will attract the mind upward and habituate it to meditate upon pure and holy things. {2T 478.2}

The body is not kept under by many professed Sabbathkeepers. Some have embraced the Sabbath whose minds have ever been depraved. And when they embraced the truth they did not feel the necessity of turning square about and changing their whole course of action. They have been for years following the inclinations of an unregenerate heart, and have been swayed by the corrupt passions of their carnal natures, which had defaced the image of God in them and defiled everything they touched; therefore their entire future life would be all too short, at the longest, to climb Peter’s ladder of Christian perfection, preparatory to their entering into the kingdom of God. But there are not many who feel that they cannot be saved by a profession of the truth, unless they become sanctified through the truth in answer to the prayer of our divine Lord to His Father: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” {2T 479.1}

Men and women who profess to be disciples of Christ and to keep all the commandments of God will have to feel in their daily lives the true spirit of agonizing to enter in at the strait gate. The agonizing ones are the only ones who will urge their passage through the strait gate and narrow way that

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lead to life eternal, to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Those who merely seek to enter in will never be able. The entire Christian life of many will be spent in no greater effort than that of seeking, and their only reward will be to find it an utter impossibility for them to enter in at that strait gate. {2T 479.2}

I have been surprised to see how many families are blinded by Satan so that they have no sense of his workings, his wiles and deceptions, practiced in their very midst. Parents seem to be stupefied by the paralyzing influence of the evil one, and yet think they are all right. I have been shown that Satan seeks to debase the minds of those who unite in marriage, that he may stamp his own hateful image upon their children. Because they have entered into the marriage relation, many think that they may permit themselves to be controlled by animal passions. They are led on by Satan, who deceives them and leads them to pervert this sacred institution. He is well pleased with the low level which their minds take; for he has much to gain in this direction. He knows that if he can excite the baser passions, and keep them in the ascendancy, he has nothing to be troubled about in their Christian experience; for the moral and intellectual faculties will be subordinate, while the animal propensities will predominate and keep in the ascendancy; and these baser passions will be strengthened by exercise, while the nobler qualities will become weaker and weaker. {2T 480.1}

He can mold their posterity much more readily than he could the parents, for he can so control the minds of the parents that through them he may give his own stamp of character to their children. Thus many children are born with the animal passions largely in the ascendancy, while the moral faculties are but feebly developed. These children need the most careful culture to bring out, strengthen, and develop the moral and intellectual powers, that these may take the lead. But the workings of Satan are n ot perceived; his wiles are not

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understood. Children are not trained for God. Their moral and religious education is neglected. The animal passions are constantly strengthened, while the moral faculties become enfeebled. {2T 480.2}

Some children begin to practice self-pollution in their infancy; and as they increase in years, the lustful passions grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. Their minds are not at rest. Girls desire the society of boys, and boys that of the girls. Their deportment is not reserved and modest. They are bold and forward, and take indecent liberties. The habit of self-abuse has debased their minds and tainted their souls. Vile thoughts, and the reading of novels, love stories, and vile books excite their imagination, and just such suit their depraved minds. They do not love work, and when engaged in labor they complain of fatigue; their backs ache; their heads ache. Is there not sufficient cause? Are they fatigued because of their labor? No, no! Yet the parents indulge these children in their complaints, and release them from labor and responsibility. This is the very worst thing that they can do for them. They are thus removing almost the only barrier that prevents Satan from having free access to their weakened minds. Useful labor would in some measure be a safeguard from his decided control of them. {2T 481.1}

We have some knowledge of Satan’s manner of working and how well he succeeds in it. From what has been shown me, he has paralyzed the minds of parents. They are slow to suspect that their own children can be wrong and sinful. Some of these children profess to be Christians, and parents sleep on, fearing no danger, while the minds and bodies of their children are becoming wrecked. Some parents do not even take care to keep their children with them when in the house of God. Young girls attend meetings and take their seats, it may be, with their parents, but more frequently back in the

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congregation. They are in the habit of making an excuse to leave the house. Boys understand this, and go out before or after the exit of the girls, and then, as the meeting closes, they accompany them home. Parents are none the wiser for this. Again,excuses are made to walk, and boys and girls assemble in the fair grounds, or some other secluded place, and there play and have a regular high time, with no experienced eye upon them to caution them. They imitate men and women of advanced age. {2T481.2}

This is a fast age. Little boys and girls commence paying attentions to one another when they should both be in the nursery, taking lessons in modesty of deportment.What is the effect of this common mixing up? Does it increase chastity in the youth who thus gather together? No, indeed! it increases the first lustful passions; after such meetings the youth are crazed by the devil and give themselves up to their vile practices. {2T 482.1}

Parents are asleep and know not that Satan has planted his hellish banner right in their households. What, I was led to inquire, will become of the youth in this corrupt age? I repeat, Parents are asleep. The children are infatuated with a lovesick sentimentalism, and the truth has no power to correct the wrong. What can be done to stay the tide of evil? Parents can do much if they will. If a young girl just entering her teens is accosted with familiarity by a boy of her own age, or older, she should be taught to so resent this that no such advances will ever be repeated. When a girl’s company is frequently sought by boys or young men, something is wrong. That young girl needs a mother to show her her place, to restrain her, and teach her what belongs to a girl of her age. {2T 482.2}

The corrupting doctrine which has prevailed, that, as viewed from a health standpoint, the sexes must mingle together, has done its mischievous work. When parents and

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guardians manifest one tithe of the shrewdness which Satan possesses, then can this association of sexes be nearer harmless. As it is, Satan is most successful in his effort to bewitch the minds of the youth; and the mingling of boys and girls only increases the evil twentyfold. Let boys and girls be kept employed in useful labor. If they are tired, they will have less inclination to corrupt their own bodies. There is nothing to be hoped for in the case of the young, unless there is an entire change in the mind s of those who are older. Vice is stamped upon the features of boys and girls, and yet what is done to stay the progress of this evil? Boys and young men are allowed and encouraged to take liberties by immodest advances of girls and young women. May God arouse fathers and mothers to work earnestly to change this terrible state of things, is my prayer. {2T 482.3}

I have been looking over the Testimonies given for Sabbathkeepers and I am astonished at the mercy of God and His care for His people in giving them so many warnings, pointing out their dangers, and presenting before them the exalted position which He would have them occupy. If they would keep themselves in His love and separate from the world, He would cause His special blessings to rest upon them and His light to shine round about them. Their influence for good might be felt in every branch of the work and in every part of the gospel field. But if they fail to meet the mind of God, if they continue to have so little sense of the exalted character of the work as they have had in the past, their influence and example will prove a terrible curse. They will do harm and only harm. The blood of precious souls will be found upon their garments. {2T 483.1}

Testimonies of warning have been repeated. I inquire: Who have heeded them? Who have been zealous in repenting of their sins and idolatry, and have been earnestly pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in

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Christ Jesus? Who have shown the inward work of God, leading to self-denial and humble self-sacrifice? Who that have been warned have so separated themselves from the world, from its affections and lusts, that they have shown a daily growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Whom do we find among the active ones, that feel the burden for the church? Whom do we see that God is especially using, working by and through them to elevate the standard, and to bring the church up to it, that they may prove the Lord and see if He will not pour them out a blessing? {2T 483.2}

I have waited anxiously, hoping that God would put His Spirit upon some and use them as instruments of righteousness to awaken and set in order His church. I have almost despaired as I have seen, year after year, a greater departure from that simplicity which God has shown me should characterize the life of His followers. There has been less and less interest in, and devotion to, the cause of God. I ask: Wherein have those who profess confidence in the Testimonies sought to live according to the light given in them? Wherein have they regarded the warnings given? Wherein have they heeded the instructions they have received? {2T 484.1}

I saw that great changes must be wrought in the hearts and lives of very many before God can work in them by His power for the salvation of others. They must be renewed after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness. Then the love of the world, the love of self, and every ambition of life calculated to exalt self will be changed by the grace of God and employed in the special work of saving souls for whom Christ died. Humility will take the place of pride, and haughty self-esteem will be exchanged for meekness. Every power of the heart will be controlled by disinterested love for all mankind. Satan, I saw, will arouse when they in earnest commence the work of reformation in themselves. He knows

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that these persons, if consecrated to God, could prove the strength of His promises and realize a power working with them that the adversary would not be able to gainsay or resist. They would realize the life of God in the soul. {2T 484.2}

One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet, yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. The head of the family needed plain, nutritious food. His habits were sedentary, and his blood moved sluggishly through the system. He could not, like others, have the benefit of healthful exercise; therefore his food should have been of the right quality and quantity. There has not been in this family the right management in regard to diet; there has been irregularity. There should have been a specified time for each meal, and the food should have been prepared in a simple form and free from grease; but pains should have been taken to have it nutritious, healthful, and inviting. In this family, as also in many others, a special parade has been made for visitors, many dishes prepared and frequently made too rich, so that those seated at the table would be tempted to eat to excess. Then in the absence of company there was a great reaction, a falling off in the preparations brought on the table. The diet was spare and lacked nourishment. It was considered not so much matter “just for ourselves.” The meals were frequently picked up, and the regular time for eating not regarded. Every member of the family was injured by such management. It is a sin for any of our sisters to make such great preparations for visitors, and wrong their own families by a spare diet which will fail to nourish the system. {2T 485.1}

The brother referred to felt a lack in his system; he was not nourished, and he thought that meat would give him the

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needed strength. Had he been suitably cared for, his table spread at the right time with food of a nourishing quality, all the demands of nature would have been abundantly supplied. The butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. {2T 485.2}

The case above referred to is not an isolated one; if it were, I would not introduce it here. When Satan takes possession of the mind, how soon the light and instruction that the Lord has graciously given, fade away and have no force! How many frame excuses and make necessities which have no existence, to bear them up in their course of wrong in setting aside the light and trampling it underfoot! I speak with assurance. The greatest objection to health reform is that this people do not live it out; and yet they will gravely say they cannot live the health reform and preserve their strength. {2T 486.1}

We find in every such instance a good reason why they cannot live out the health reform. They do not live it out, and have never followed it strictly, therefore they cannot be benefited by it. Some fall into the error that because they discard meat th ey have no need to supply its place with the best fruits and vegetables, prepared in their most natural state, free from grease and spices. If they would only skillfully arrange the bounties with which the Creator has surrounded them, parents and children with a clear conscience unitedly engaging in the work, they would enjoy simple food, and would then be

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able to speak understandingly of health reform. Those who have not been converted to health reform, and have never fully adopted it, are not judges of its benefits. Those who digress occasionally to gratify the taste in eating a fattened turkey or other flesh meats, pervert their appetites, and are not the ones to judge of the benefits of the system of health reform They are controlled by taste, not by principle. {2T 486.2}

I have a well-set table on all occasions. I make no change for visitors, whether believers or unbelievers. I intend never to be surprised by an unreadiness to entertain at my table from one to half a dozen extra who may chance to come in. I have enough simple, healthful food ready to satisfy hunger and nourish the system. If any want more than this, they are at liberty to find it elsewhere. No butter or flesh meats of any kind come on my table. Cake is seldom found there. I generally have an ample supply of fruits, good bread, and vegetables. Our table is always well patronized, and all who partake of the food do well, and improve upon it. All sit down with no epicurean appetite, and eat with a relish the bounties supplied by our Creator. {2T 487.1}

A wonderful indifference has been manifested upon this important subject by those right at the heart of the work. The lack of stability in regard to the principles of health reform is a true index of their character and their spiritual strength. They are deficient in thoroughness in their Christian experience. Conscience is not regarded. The basis or cause of every right action existing and operating in the renewed heart secures obedience without external or selfish motives. The spirit of truth and a good conscience are sufficient to inspire and regulate the motives and conduct of those who learn of Christ and are like Him. Those who have no strength of religious principle in themselves are easily swayed, by the example of others, in a wrong direction. Those who have never learned

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their duty from God, and acquainted themselves with His purposes concerning them, are not reliable in times of severe conflict with the powers of darkness. They are swayed by external and present appearances. Worldly men are governed by worldly principles; they can appreciate no other. But Christians should not be governed by these principles. They should not seek to strengthen themselves in the performance of duty by any other consideration than a love to obey every requirement of God as found in His word and dictated by an enlightened conscience. {2T 487.2}

In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. Everyone should live for himself. The minds of all who are renewed by grace will be an open medium, continually receiving light, grace, and truth from above, and transmitting the same to others. Their works are fruitful. Their fruit is unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. {2T 488.1}

But very few have an experimental knowledge of the sanctifying influence of the truths which they profess. Their obedience and devotion have not been in accordance with their light and privileges. They have no real sense of the obligation resting upon them to walk as children of the light, and not as children of darkness. If the light that has been given to these had been given Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes, and would have escaped the signal wrath of God. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for those who have been privileged with the clear light, and have had a vast amount of labor, but have not profited by it. They have neglected the great salvation which God in mercy was willing to

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bestow. They were so blinded by the devil that they verily thought themselves rich and in the favor of God, when the True Witness declares them to be wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.{2T 488.2}

Chap. 62 – Exercise and Air

In the creation of man the Lord designed that he should be active and useful. Yet many live in this world as useless machines, as though they hardly existed. They brighten the path of none, they are a blessing to none. They live only to burden others. So far as their influence on the side of right is concerned, they are mere ciphers; but they tell with weight upon the wrong side. Search the lives of such closely, and scarcely an act of disinterested benevolence can be found. When they die, their memory dies with them. Their names soon perish; for they cannot live, even in the affections of their friends, by means of true goodness and virtuous acts. With such persons life has been a mistake. They have not been faithful stewards. They have forgotten that their Creator has claims upon them and that He designs them to be active in doing good and in blessing others with their influence. Selfish interests attract the mind and lead to forgetfulness of God and of the purpose of their Creator. {2T 522.1}

All who profess to be followers of Jesus should feel that a duty rests upon them to preserve their bodies in the best

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condition of health, that their minds may be clear to comprehend heavenly things. The mind needs to be controlled, for it has a most powerful influence upon the health. The imagination often misleads, and when indulged, brings severe forms of disease upon the afflicted. Many die of diseases which are mostly imaginary. I am acquainted with several who have brought upon themselves actual disease by the influence of the imagination. {2T 522.2}

One sister was carried by her husband from chair to bed, and from room to room, because she thought that she was too feeble to walk. But as the case was afterward presented to me, she could have walked as well as myself if she had thought so. Had an accident occurred,–had the house taken fire, or one of her children been in imminent danger of losing life by a fall,–this woman would have been aroused by the force of circumstances, and would have walked quite readily and briskly. She could walk, so far as physical strength was concerned; but diseased imagination led her to conclude that she could not, and she did not arouse the power of the will to resist this deception. The imagination said: You cannot walk, and you had better not try. Sit still;your limbs are so weak that you cannot stand. Had this sister exerted her will power and aroused her benumbed and dormant energies, this deception would have been exposed. In consequence of yielding to the imagination, she probably thinks, to this day, that when she was so helpless she was so of necessity; but this was purely a freak of the imagination, which sometimes plays strange tricks upon diseased mortals. {2T 523.1}

Some are so afraid of air that they will muffle up their heads and bodies until they look like mummies. They sit in the house, generally inactive, fearing they shall weary themselves and get sick if they exercise either indoors or out in the open air. They could take habitual exercise in the open air every

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pleasant day, if they only thought so. Continued inactivity is one of the greatest causes of debility of body and feebleness of mind. Many are sick who ought to be in very good health and thus in possession of one of the richest blessings they could enjoy. {2T 523.2}

I have been shown that many who are apparently feeble, and are ever complaining, are not so badly off as they imagine themselves to be. Some of these have a powerful will, which, exercised in the right direction, would be a potent means of controlling the imagination and thus resisting disease. But it is too frequently the case that the will is exercised in a wrong direction and stubbornly refuses to yield to reason. That will has settled the matter; invalids they are, and the attention due to invalids they will have, irrespective of the judgment of others. {2T 524.1}

I have been shown mothers who are governed by a diseased imagination, the influence of which is felt upon husband and children. The windows must be kept closed because the mother feels the air. If she is at all chilly, and a change is made in her clothing, she thinks her children must be treated in the same manner, and thus the entire family are robbed of physical stamina. All are affected by one mind, physically and mentally injured through the diseased imagination of one woman, who considers herself a criterion for the whole family. The body is clothed in accordance with the caprices of a diseased imagination and smothered under an amount of wrappings which debilitates the system. The skin cannot perform its office; the studied habit of shunning the air and avoiding exercise, closes the pores,–the little mouths through which the body breathes, –making it impossible to throw off impurities through that channel. The burden of labor is thrown upon the liver, lungs, kidneys, etc., and these internal organs are compelled to do the work of the skin. Thus persons bring disease upon themselves by their wrong habits; yet, in the face of light and

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knowledge, they will adhere to their own course. They reason thus: “Have we not tried the matter? and do we not understand it by experience?” But the experience of a person whose imagination is at fault should not have much weight with anyone. {2T 524.2}

The season most to be dreaded by one going among these invalids is winter. It is winter indeed, not only outdoors, but in, to those who are compelled to live in the same house and sleep in the same room. These victims of a diseased imagination shut themselves indoors and close the windows, for the air affects their lungs and their heads. Imagination is active; they expect to take cold, and they will have it. No amount of reasoning can make them believe that they do not understand the philosophy of the whole matter. Have they not proved it? they will argue. It is true that they have proved one side of the question,–by persisting in their own course,–and yet they do take cold if in the least exposed. Tender as babies, they cannot endure anything; yet they live on, and continue to close the windows and doors, and hover over the stove, and enjoy their misery. They have surely proved that their course has not made them well, but has increased their difficulties. Why will not such allow reason to influence the judgment and control the imagination? Why not now try an opposite course, and in a judicious manner obtain exercise and air out of doors, instead of remaining in the house from day to day, more like a bundle of drygoods than an active being? {2T 525.1}

The chief if not the only reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise nor their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air; therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized, and it pursues its course sluggishly through the system. The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of

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exercise than through overfatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air. {2T 525.2}

Some invalids become willful in the matter and refuse to be convinced of the great importance of daily outdoor exercise, whereby they may obtain a supply of pure air. For fear of taking cold, they persist, from year to year, in having their own way and living in an atmosphere almost destitute of vitality. It is impossible for this class to have a healthy circulation. The entire system suffers for want of exercise and pure air. The skin becomes debilitated and more sensitive to any change in the atmosphere. Additional clothing is put on, and the heat of the room increased. The next day they require a little more heat and a little more clothing in order to feel perfectly warm, and thus they humor every changing feeling until they have but little vitality to endure any cold. Some may inquire: “What shall we do? Would you have us remain cold?” If you add clothing, let it be but little, and exercise, if possible, to regain the heat you need. If you positively cannot engage in active exercise, warm yourselves by the fire; but as soon as you are warm, lay off your extra clothing and remove from the fire. If those who can, would engage in some active employment to take the mind from themselves, they would generally forget that they were chilly and would not receive harm. You should lower the temperature of your room as soon as

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you have regained your natural warmth. For invalids who have feeble lungs, nothing can be worse than an overheated atmosphere. {2T 526.1}

Invalids too often deprive themselves of sunlight. This is one of nature’s most healing agents. It is a very simple, therefore not a fashionable remedy, to enjoy the rays of God’s sunlight and beautify our homes with its presence. Fashion takes the greatest care to exclude the light of the sun from parlors and sleeping rooms by dropping curtains and closing shutters, as though its rays were ruinous to life and health. It is not God who has brought upon us the many woes to which mortals are heirs. Our own folly has led us to deprive ourselves of things that are precious, of blessings which God has provided and which, if properly used, are of inestimable value for the recovery of health. If you would have your homes sweet and inviting, make them bright with air and sunshine. Remove your heavy curtains, open the windows, throw back the blinds, and enjoy the rich sunlight, even if it be at the expense of the colors of your carpets. The precious sunlight may fade your carpets, but it will give a healthful color to the cheeks of your children. If you have God’s presence and possess earnest, loving hearts, a humble home made bright with air and sunlight, and cheerful with the welcome of unselfish hospitality, will be to your family, and to the weary traveler, a heaven below. {2T 527.1}

Many have been taught from childhood that night air is positively injurious to health and therefore must be excluded from their rooms. To their own injury they close the windows and doors of their sleeping apartments to protect themselves from the night air which they say is so dangerous to health. In this they are deceived. In the cool of the evening it may be necessary to guard from chilliness by extra clothing, but they should give their lungs air. {2T 527.2}

On an autumn evening we were once traveling in a crowded car, where the atmosphere was rendered very impure by the

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mingling of so many breaths. The exhalations from lungs and bodies caused a most sickening sensation to come over me. I raised my window and was enjoying the fresh air, when a lady, in earnest, imploring tones, cried out: “Do put down that window. You will take cold and be sick, for the night air is so unhealthy.” I replied: “Madam, we have no other air, in this car or out of it, but night air. If you refuse to breathe night air, then you must stop breathing. God has provided for His creatures air to breathe for the day, and the same, made a little cooler, for the night. In the night it is not possible for you to breathe anything but night air. The question is: Shall the night air we breathe be pure,or is it improved after it has been breathed over and over? Is it for our health to breathe the polluted night air of this car? The exhalations thrown off by the lungs and bodies of men steeped in tobacco and alcohol, pollute the air and endanger health; and yet nearly all the passengers sit as indifferent as though inhaling the purest atmosphere. God has wisely provided for us, that in the night we should breathe night air, and in the day, the air of the day. If we fail to answer the plan of God, and the blood becomes impure, our wrong habits have made it thus. But the air of night, breathed in the night, will not of itself poison the current of human life.” Many are suffering from disease because they refuse to receive into their rooms at night the pure night air. The free, pure air of heaven is one of the richest blessings we can enjoy.
{2T 527.3}

Another precious blessing is proper exercise. There are many indolent, inactive ones who are disinclined to physical labor or exercise because it wearies them. What if it does weary them? The reason why they become weary is that they do not strengthen their muscles by exercise, therefore they feel the least exertion. Invalid women and girls are better pleased to busy themselves with light employment, as crocheting, or

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embroidering, or making tatting, than to engage in physical labor. If invalids would recover health, they should not discontinue physical exercise; for they will thus increase muscular weakness and general debility. Bind up the arm and permit it to remain useless, even for a few weeks, then free it from its bondage, and you will discover that it is weaker than the one you have been using moderately during the same time. Inactivity produces the same effect upon the whole muscular system. The blood is not enabled to expel the impurities as it would if active circulation were induced by exercise. {2T 528.1}

When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter. But the clothing should be suitable for the exercise, and the feet should be well protected. A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe. For those who can walk, walking is preferable to riding. The muscles and veins are enabled better to perform their work. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health. The lungs will have needful action, for it is impossible to go out in the bracing air of a winter’s morning without inflating the lungs. {2T 529.1}

Riches and idleness are thought by some to be blessings indeed. But when some persons have acquired wealth, or inherited it unexpectedly, their active habits have been broken up, their time is unemployed, they live at ease, and their usefulness seems at an end; they become restless, anxious, and unhappy, and their lives soon close. Those who are always busy, and go cheerfully about the performance of their daily tasks, are the most happy and healthy. The rest and composure of night brings to their wearied frames unbroken slumber. The Lord knew what was for man’s happiness when He gave him work to do. The sentence that man must toil for his bread, and the promise of future happiness and glory, came

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from the same throne. Both are blessings. Women of fashion are worthless for all the good ends of human life. They possess but little force of character, have but little moral will or physical energy. Their highest aim is to be admired. They die prematurely and are not missed, for they have blessed no one. {2T 529.2}

Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature. The less the attention is called to the stomach after a meal, the better. If you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you,it most assuredly will. Forget self, and think of something cheerful. {2T 530.1}

Many labor under the mistaken idea that if they have taken cold, they must carefully exclude the outside air and increase the temperature of their room until it is excessively hot. The system may be deranged, the pores closed by waste matter, and the internal organs suffering more or less inflammation, because the blood has been chilled back from the surface and thrown upon them. At this time, of all others, the lungs should not be deprived of pure, fresh air. If pure air is ever necessary, it is when any part of the system, as the lungs or stomach, is diseased. Judicious exercise would induce the blood to the surface, and thus relieve the internal organs. Brisk, yet not violent exercise in the open air, with cheerfulness of spirits, will promote the circulation, giving a healthful glow to the skin, and sending the blood, vitalized by the pure air, to the extremities. The diseased stomach will find relief by exercise. Physicians frequently advise invalids to visit foreign countries, to go to the springs, or to ride upon the ocean, in order to regain health; when, in nine cases out of ten, if they would eat temperately and engage in healthful exercise with a cheerful spirit, they would regain health and save time and money. Exercise, and

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a free and abundant use of the air and sunlight,–blessings which Heaven has freely bestowed upon all,–would give life and strength to the emaciated invalid. {2T 530.2}

A large class of women are content to hover over the stove, breathing impure air for one half or three fourths of the time, until the brain is heated and half benumbed. They should go out and exercise every day, even though some things indoors have to be neglected. They need the cool air to quiet their distracted brains. They need not go to their neighbors to gossip, but should make it their object to do some good, working to the end of benefiting others. Then they will be an example to others and receive real benefit themselves. {2T 531.1}

Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation. Special attention should be given to the extremities, that they may be as thoroughly clothed as the chest and the region over the heart, where is the greatest amount of heat. Parents who dress their children with the extremities naked, or nearly so, are sacrificing the health and lives of their children to fashion. If these parts are not so warm as the body, the circulation is not equalized. When the extremities, which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fullness about the chest, producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion. {2T 531.2}

In order to follow the fashions, mothers dress their children with limbs nearly naked; and the blood is chilled back from its natural course and thrown upon the internal organs, breaking up the circulation and producing disease. The limbs were not formed by our Creator to endure exposure, as was the face. The Lord provided the face with an immense circulation, because it must be exposed. He provided, also, large veins and nerves for the limbs and feet, to contain a large amount

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of the current of human life, that the limbs might be uniformly as warm as the body. They should be so thoroughly clothed as to induce the blood to the extremities. Satan invented the fashions which leave the limbs exposed, chilling back the life current from its original course. And parents bow at the shrine of fashion and so clothe their children that the nerves and veins become contracted and do not answer the purpose that God designed they should. The result is, habitually cold feet and hands. Those parents who follow fashion instead of reason will have an account to render to God for thus robbing their children of health. Even life itself is frequently sacrificed to the god of fashion. {2T 531.3}

Children who are clothed according to fashion cannot endure exposure in the open air unless the weather is mild. Therefore parents and children remain in ill-ventilated rooms, fearing the atmosphere out of doors; and well they may, with their fashionable style of clothing. If they would clothe themselves sensibly, and have moral courage to take their position on the side of right, they would not endanger health by going out summer and winter, and exercising freely in the open air. But if left undisturbed to their own course, many would soon complete the sacrifice of their own lives and those of their children. And those who are compelled to have the care of them become sufferers. The invalid who is controlled by imagination is to be dreaded. All who live in the house with her become enfeebled. The husband loses his nervous energy, and becomes diseased because, a considerable part of the time, he is robbed by his wife of the vital air of heaven. But the poor children, who think that mother knows best what is right, are the greatest sufferers. The mother’s wrong course has enfeebled herself, and, if chilly, she bundles up in more wrappings, and provides the same for the children, thinking that they also

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must be chilly. The doors and windows are closed, and the temperature of the room increased. The children are frequently puny and weakly, and do not possess a high degree of moral worth. Husband and children are thus shut up for the winter, slaves to the notions of a woman controlled by imagination, and sometimes having a set will. The members of such a family are daily martyrs. They are sacrificing health to the caprice of an imaginative, complaining, murmuring woman. They are deprived, in a great measure, of air, which will invigorate them and give them energy and vitality. {2T 532.1}

Those who do not use their limbs every day will realize a weakness when they do attempt to exercise. The veins and muscles are not in a condition to perform their work and keep all the living machinery in healthful action, each organ in the system doing its part. The limbs will strengthen with use. Moderate exercise every day will impart strength to the muscles, which without exercise become flabby and enfeebled. By active exercise in the open air every day, the liver, kidneys, and lungs also will be strengthened to perform their work. Bring to your aid the power of the will, which will resist cold and will give energy to the nervous system. In a short time you will so realize the benefit of exercise and pure air that you would not live without these blessings. Your lungs, deprived of air, will be like a hungry person deprived of food. Indeed, we can live longer without food than without air, which is the food that God has provided for the lungs. Therefore do not regard it as an enemy, but as a precious blessing from God. {2T 533.1}

If invalids allow themselves to encourage a diseased imagination, they will not only waste their own energies, but the vitality of those who have the care of them. I advise invalid sisters who have accustomed themselves to a great amount of clothing, to lay it off gradually. Some of you live merely to eat

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and breathe, and fail to answer the purpose for which you were created. You should have an exalted aim in life and seek to be useful and efficient in your own families and to become useful members of society. You should not require the attention of the family to be centered upon you, nor should you draw largely upon the sympathies of others.Do your part in giving love and sympathy to the unfortunate, remembering that they have woes and trials peculiar to themselves. See if you cannot, by words of sympathy and love, lighten their burdens. In blessing others, you will realize a blessing yourselves. {2T 533.2}

Those who, so far as it is possible, engage in the work of doing good to others by giving practical demonstration of their interest in them are not only relieving the ills of human life in helping them bear their burdens, but are at the same time contributing largely to their own health of soul and body. Doing good is a work that benefits both giver and receiver. If you forget self in your interest for others, you gain a victory over your infirmities. The satisfaction you will realize in doing good will aid you greatly in the recovery of the healthy tone of the imagination. The pleasure of doing good animates the mind and vibrates through the whole body. While the faces of benevolent men are lighted up with cheerfulness, and their countenances express the moral elevation of the mind, those of selfish, stingy men are dejected, cast down, and gloomy. Their moral defects are seen in their countenances. Selfishness and self-love stamp their own image upon the outward man. That person who is actuated by true disinterested benevolence is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; while the selfish and avaricious have cherished their selfishness until it has withered their social sympathies, and their countenances reflect the image of the fallen foe, rather than that of purity and holiness. {2T 534.1}

Invalids, I advise you to venture something. Arouse your

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will power, and at least make a trial of this matter. Withdraw your thoughts and affections from yourselves. Walk out by faith. Are you inclined to center your thoughts upon yourselves, fearing to exercise, and fearing that if you expose yourself to the air you will lose your life; resist these thoughts and feelings. Do not yield to your diseased imagination. If you fail in the trial, you can but die. And what if you do die? One life might better be lost than many sacrificed. The whims and notions which you cherish are not only destroying your own life, but injuring those whose lives are more valuable than yours. But the course we recommend will not deprive you of life or injure you. You will derive benefit from it. You need not be rash or reckless; commence moderately at first to have more air and exercise, and continue your reform until you become useful, a blessing to your families and to all around you. Let your judgment be convinced that exercise, sunlight, and air are the blessings which Heaven has provided to make the sick well and to keep in health those who are not sick. God does not deprive you of these free, Heaven-bestowed blessings, but you have punished yourselves by closing your doors against them. Properly used, these simple yet powerful agents will assist nature to overcome real difficulties, if such exist, and will give healthy tone to the mind and vigor to the body. {2T 534.2}

In this age of the world, when vice and fashion control men and women, Christians should possess virtuous characters and a large share of good common sense. If this were the case, countenances which are now clouded, bearing the marks of disease and depravity, would be hopeful and cheerful, lighted up by true goodness and a clear conscience. {2T 535.1}

The do-nothing system is the greatest curse that has befallen our race. Children so unfortunate as to be brought up and educated by mothers who do not possess true moral worth, but who have diseased imaginations and suffer imaginary ailments, need the sympathy, patient instruction, and tender care

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of all who can help them. The wants of these children are not met, and their education is such as to unfit them for useful members of society while they live, and to bring them to an untimely grave. If their lives are protracted, they will never forget the lessons taught them by the mother. The errors of her life have been impressed upon them by her words and her actions, and in many cases they will follow in her footsteps. Her mantle falls like a dark pall upon her poor children. Her inconsistent course has given the stamp of her character to their lives, and they cannot readily overcome the education of their childhood. {2T 535.2}

The tenderest earthly tie is that between the mother and her child. The child is more readily impressed by the life and example of the mother than by that of the father; for a stronger and more tender bond of union unites them. Mothers have a heavy responsibility. If I could impress upon them the work which they can do in molding the minds of their children I should be happy. {2T 536.1}

If parents themselves would obtain knowledge, and feel the importance of putting it to a practical use in the education of their dear children, we should see a different order of things among youth and children. The children need to be instructed in regard to their own bodies. There are but few youth who have any definite knowledge of the mysteries of human life. They know but little about the living machinery. Says David: “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Teach your children to study from cause to effect; show them that if they violate the laws of their being they must pay the penalty by suffering disease. If in your effort you can see no special improvement, be not discouraged; patiently instruct, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. If by this means you have succeeded in forgetting yourself, you have taken one step in the right direction. Press on until the victory is gained. Continue to teach your children

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in regard to their own bodies and how to take care of them. Recklessness in regard to bodily health tends to recklessness in moral character. {2T 536.2}

Do not neglect to teach your children how to cook. In so doing, you impart to them principles which they must have in their religious education. In giving your children lessons in physiology, and teaching them how to cook with simplicity and yet with skill, you are laying the foundation for the most useful branches of education. Skill is required to make good light bread. There is religion in good cooking, and I question the religion of that class who are too ignorant and too careless to learn to cook. {2T 537.1}

We see sallow complexions and groaning dyspeptics wherever we go. When we sit at the tables, and eat the food cooked in the same manner as it has been for months, and perhaps years, I wonder that these persons are alive. Bread and biscuit are yellow with saleratus. This resort to saleratus was to save a little care; in consequence of forgetfulness, the bread is often allowed to become sour before baking, and to remedy the evil a large portion of saleratus is added, which only makes it totally unfit for the human stomach. Saleratus in any form should not be introduced into the stomach, for the effect is fearful. It eats the coatings of the stomach, causes inflammation, and frequently poisons the entire system. Some plead: “I cannot make good bread or gem s unless I use soda, or saleratus.” You surely can if you become a scholar, and will learn. Is not the health of your family of sufficient value to inspire you with ambition to learn how to cook and how to eat? {2T 537.2}

That which we eat cannot be converted into good blood unless it is of a proper quality, simple and nutritious. The stomach can never convert sour bread into sweet. Food poorly prepared is not nutritious and cannot make good blood. These things which fret and derange the stomach will have a

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benumbing influence upon the finer feelings of the heart. Many who adopt the health reform complain that it does not agree with them; but, after sitting at their tables, I come to the decision that it is not the health reform that is at fault, but the poorly prepared food. Health reformers, above all others, should be careful to shun extremes. The body must have sufficient nourishment. We cannot subsist upon air merely; neither can we retain health unless we have nourishing food. Food should be prepared in good order so that it is palatable. Mothers should be practical physiologists, that they may teach their children to know themselves and to possess moral courage to carry out correct principles in defiance of the health-and-life-destroying fashions. To needlessly transgress the laws of our being is a violation of the law of God. {2T 537.3}

Poor cookery is slowly wearing away the life energies of thousands. It is dangerous to health and life to eat at some tables the heavy, sour bread and the other food prepared in keeping with it. Mothers, instead of seeking to give your daughters a musical education, instruct them in these useful branches which have the closest connection with life and health. Teach them all the mysteries of cooking. Show them that this is a part of their education and essential for them in order to become Christians. Unless the food is prepared in a wholesome, palatable manner, it cannot be converted into good blood to build up the wasting tissues. Your daughters may love music, and this may be all right; it may add to the happiness of the family; but the knowledge of music without the knowledge of cookery is not worth much. When your daughters have families of their own, an understanding of music and fancy work will not provide for the table a well-cooked dinner, prepared with nicety, so that they will not blush to place it before their most-esteemed friends. Mothers, yours is a sacred work. May God help you to take it up with His glory

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in view and work earnestly, patiently, and lovingly for the present and future good of your children, having an eye single to the glory of God.{2T 538.1}

Chap. 73 – An Impressive Dream

While at Battle Creek in August, 1868, I dreamed of being with a large body of people. A portion of this assembly started out prepared to journey. We had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white wall, like the hard finish upon plastered rooms. {2T 594.1}

As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that we concluded that we could no longer travel with the loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses, took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback. {2T 594.2}

As we progressed, the path still continued to grow narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall, to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage on the horses pressed against the wall and caused us to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we should fall and be dashed in pieces on the rocks. We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell over the precipice. We continued on horseback, greatly fearing, as we came to

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the narrower places in the road, that we should lose our balance and fall. At such times a hand seemed to take the bridle and guide us over the perilous way. {2T 594.3}

As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one following in the footsteps of another. At this point small cords were let down from the top of the pure white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled, the cord moved along with us. The path finally became so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more safely without our shoes, so we slipped them from our feet and went on some distance without them. Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely without our stockings; these were removed, and we journeyed on with bare feet. {2T 595.1}

We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end. {2T 595.2}

Our danger of falling from the pathway increased. We pressed close to the white wall, yet could not place our feet fully upon the path, for it was too narrow. We then suspended nearly our whole weight upon the cords, exclaiming: “We have hold from above! We have hold from above!” The same words were uttered by all the company in the narrow pathway. As we heard the sounds of mirth and revelry that seemed to come from the abyss below, we shuddered. We heard the profane oath, the vulgar jest, and low, vile songs. We heard the war song and the dance song. We heard instrumental music and loud laughter, mingled with cursing and cries of anguish and bitter wailing, and were more anxious

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than ever to keep upon the narrow, difficult pathway. Much of the time we were compelled to suspend our whole weight upon the cords, which increased in size as we progressed. {2T 595.3}

I noticed that the beautiful white wall was stained with blood. It caused a feeling of regret to see the wall thus stained. This feeling, however, lasted but for a moment, as I soon thought that it was all as it should be. Those who are following after will know that others have passed the narrow, difficult way before them, and will conclude that if others were able to pursue their onward course, they can do the same. And as the blood shall be pressed from their aching feet, they will not faint with discouragement; but, seeing the blood upon the wall, they will know that others have endured the same pain. {2T 596.1}

At length we came to a large chasm, at which our path ended. There was nothing now to guide the feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased in size until they were as large as our bodies. Here we were for a time thrown into perplexity and distress. We inquired in fearful whispers: “To what is the cord attached?” My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey h ad been experienced for nought. {2T 596.2}

Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun; but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field. But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish. Again, in whispered

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anguish, the words were breathed: “What holds the cord?” For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: “Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now.” Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken: “God holds the cord. We need not fear.” These words were then repeated by those behind us, accompanied with: “He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far in safety.” {2T 596.3}

My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately followed. And, oh, what a sense of relief and gratitude to God we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant praise to God. I was happy, perfectly happy. {2T597.1}

I awoke, and found that from the anxiety I had experienced in passing over the difficult route, every nerve in my body seemed to be in a tremor. This dream needs no comment. It made such an impression upon my mind that probably every item in it will be vivid before me while my memory shall continue.{2T 597.2}

Chap. 74 – Our Camp Meetings

There can be no influence so detrimental to a camp meeting, or any other gathering for religious worship, as much visiting and careless conversation. Frequently men and women assemble in companies, and engage in conversation upon common subjects which do not relate to the meeting. Some have brought their farms with them, others have brought their houses, and are laying their plans for building. Some are dissecting the characters of others and have no time or disposition to search their own hearts, to discover the defects in their own characters, that they may correct their

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wrongs and perfect holiness in the fear of God. If all who profess to be followers of Christ would improve the time out of meeting in conversing upon the truth, in dwelling upon the Christian’s hope, in searching their own hearts, and in earnest prayer before God, pleading for His blessing, a much greater work would be accomplished than we have yet seen. Unbelievers, who falsely accuse those who believe the truth, would be convinced because of their “good conversation in Christ.” Our words and actions are the fruit we bear; “wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” {2T 597.3}

God gave direction to the Israelites to assemble before Him at set periods in the place which He should choose, and observe special days, wherein no unnecessary work was to be done, but the time was to be devoted to a consideration of the blessings which He had bestowed upon them. At these special seasons the manservant and maidservant, the stranger, the fatherless and widow–all were directed to rejoice that God had by His own wonderful power brought them from servile bondage to the enjoyment of freedom. And they were commanded not to appear before the Lord empty-handed. They were to bring tokens of their gratitude to God for His continual mercies and blessings bestowed upon them; they were to bring gifts, freewill offerings and thank offerings unto the Lord, as He had blessed them. These offerings were varied according to the donor’s estimate of the blessings which he was privileged to enjoy. Thus the characters of the people were plainly developed. Those who placed a high value upon the blessings which God bestowed upon them brought offerings in accordance with this appreciation of His blessings. Those whose moral powers were stupefied and benumbed by selfishness and idolatrous love of the favors received, rather than inspired by fervent love for their bountiful Benefactor, brought meager offerings. Thus their hearts were revealed.

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Besides these special religious feast days of gladness and rejoicing, the yearly Passover was to be commemorated by the Jewish nation. The Lord covenanted that, if they were faithful in the observance of His requirements, He would bless them in all their increase, and in all the works of their hands. {2T 598.1}

God requires no less of His people in these last days, in sacrifices and offerings, than He did of the Jewish nation. Those whom He has blessed with a competency, and even the widow and the fatherless, should not be unmindful of His blessings. Especially should those whom He has prospered render to Him the things that are His. They should appear before Him with a spirit of self-sacrifice and bring their offerings in accordance with the blessings He has bestowed upon them. But many whom God prospers manifest base ingratitude to Him. If His blessings rest upon them, and He increases their substance, they use these bounties as cords to bind them to the love of their possessions; they allow worldly business to take possession of their affections and of their entire being, and neglect devotion and religious privileges. They cannot afford to leave their business cares and come before God even once a year. They turn the blessings of God into a curse by serving their own temporal interests to the neglect of His requirements. {2T 599.1}

Men who possess thousands remain at home year after year, engrossed in their worldly cares and interests, and feel that they cannot afford to make the small sacrifice of attending the yearly gatherings to worship God. He has blessed them in basket and in store, and surrounded them with His benefits on the right hand and on the left; yet they withhold from Him the small offerings which He requires of them. They love to serve themselves. Their souls will be like the unrefreshed desert, without the dew or rain of heaven. The Lord has brought to them the precious blessing of His grace; He has

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delivered them from the slavery of sin and the bondage of error, and has opened to their darkened understandings the glorious light of present truth. And shall these evidences of His love and mercy call forth no gratitude in return? Will those who profess to believe that the end of all things is at hand be blind to their own spiritual interests and live for this world and this life alone? Do they expect their eternal interest to take care of itself? They cannot obtain spiritual strength without an effort on their part. {2T 599.2}

Many who profess to be looking for the appearing of our Lord are anxious, burdened seekers for worldly gain. They are blind to their eternal interest. They labor for that which satisfieth not; they spend their money for that which is not bread. They strive to content themselves with the treasures they have laid up upon the earth, which must perish, and they neglect the preparation for eternity, which should be the first and only real work of their lives. {2T 600.1}

Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided for them to become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to Him. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast; He will be present, and will do for you that which you need most to have done. Your farms should not be considered of greater value than the higher interests of the soul. All the treasures you possess, be they ever so valuable, would not be rich enough to buy you peace and hope, which would be infinite gain at the cost of all you have and the toils and sufferings of a lifetime. A strong, clear sense of eternal things, and a heart willing to yield all to Christ, are blessings of more value than all the riches and pleasures and glories of this world. {2T 600.2}

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These camp meetings are of importance. They cost something. The servants of God are wearing out their lives to help the people, while many of them appear as if they did not want help. For fear of losing a little of this world’s gain, some let these precious privileges come and go as though they were of but very little importance. Let all who profess to believe the truth respect every privilege that God offers them to obtain clearer views of His truth and His requirements, and the necessary preparation for His coming. A calm, cheerful, and obedient trust in God is what He requires. {2T 601.1}

You need not weary yourselves with busy anxieties and needless cares. Work on for the day, faithfully doing the work which God’s providence assigns you, and He will have a care for you. Jesus will deepen and widen your blessings. You must make efforts if you have salvation at last. Come to these meetings prepared to work. Leave your home cares, and come to find Jesus, and He will be found of you. Come with your offerings as God has blessed you. Show your gratitude to your Creator, the Giver of all your benefits, by a freewill offering. Let none who are able to give come empty-handed. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. {2T 601.2}

The object of a camp meeting is to lead all to separate from business cares and burdens, and devote a few days exclusively to seeking the Lord. We should occupy the time in self-examination, close searching of heart, penitential confession of sins, an d renewing our vows to the Most High. If any come to these meetings for less worthy objects, we hope the character of the meetings will be such as to bring their minds to the proper objects.
{2T 601.3}

Some are sufferers through extra labor in preparing for

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camp meeting. They are liberal-souled people, and want nothing done with stinginess. Some make large provisions and are thoroughly wearied out when they come to the meeting, and as soon as they are released from the pressure of work, exhausted nature causes them to feel that she has been abused. Some of these persons may never have attended a camp meeting before and are not informed in regard to what preparations they are required to make. They lose some of the precious meetings they had purposed to attend. Now these mistake in making so great preparation. Nothing should be taken to camp meeting except the most healthful articles, cooked in a simple manner, free from all spices and grease. {2T 601.4}

I am convinced that none need to make themselves sick preparing for camp meeting, if they observe the laws of health in their cooking. If they make no cake or pies, but cook simple graham bread, and depend on fruit, canned or dried, they need not get sick in preparing for the meeting, and they need not be sick while at the meeting. None should go through the entire meeting without some warm food. There are always cookstoves upon the ground, where this may be obtained. {2T 602.1}

Brethren and sisters must not be sick upon the encampment. If they clothe themselves properly in the chill of morning and night, and are particular to vary their clothing according to the changing weather, so as to preserve proper circulation, and strictly observe regularity in sleeping and in eating of simple food, taking nothing between meals, they need not be sick. They may be well during the meeting, their minds may be clear and able to appreciate the truth, and they may return to their homes refreshed in body and spirit. Those who have been engaged in hard labor from day to day now cease their exercise; therefore they should not eat their average amount of food. If they do, their stomachs will be overtaxed. We wish to have the brain power especially vigorous at these

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meetings and in the most healthy condition to hear the truth, appreciate it, and retain it, that all may practice it after their return from the meeting. If the stomach is burdened with too much food, even of a simple character, the brain force is called to the aid of the digestive organs. There is a benumbed sensation upon the brain. It is almost impossible to keep the eyes open. The very truths which should be heard, understood, and practiced are entirely lost through indisposition, or because the brain is almost paralyzed in consequence of the amount of food eaten. {2T 602.2}

I would advise all to take something warm into the stomach every morning at least. You can do this without much labor. You can make graham gruel. If the graham flour is too coarse, sift it, and while the gruel is hot, add milk. This will make a most palatable and healthful dish for the campground. And if your bread is dry, crumb it into the gruel,and it will be enjoyed. I do not approve of eating much cold food, for the reason that the vitality must be drawn from the system to warm the food until it becomes of the same temperature as the stomach before the work of digestion can be carried on. Another very simple yet wholesome dish is beans boiled or baked. Dilute a portion of them with water, add milk or cream, and make a broth; the bread can be used a s in graham gruel.{2T 603.1}

I am gratified to see the progress that many have made in the health reform, yet am sorry to see so many behind. If any become sick upon our encampments, inquiry should be made as to the cause, and note should be taken of the case. I am not willing that the reputation of our camp meetings should suffer by their being reported as the cause of making people sick. If a proper course be pursued at these important gatherings, they can be made a blessing to the bodily health as well as to the health of the soul. {2T 603.2}

Chap. 75 – A Solemn Dream

On the night of April 30, 1871, I retired to rest much depressed in spirits. For three months I had been in a state of great discouragement. I had frequently prayed in anguish of spirit for relief. I had implored help and strength from God, that I might rise above the heavy discouragements that were paralyzing my faith and hope, and unfitting me for usefulness. That night I had a dream which made a very happy impression upon my mind. I dreamed that I was attending an important meeting at which a large company were assembled. Many were bowed before God in earnest prayer, and they seemed to be burdened. They were importuning the Lord for special light. A few seemed to be in agony of spirit; their feelings were intense; with tears they were crying aloud for help and light. Our most prominent brethren were engaged in this most impressive scene. Brother A was prostrated upon the floor, apparently in deep distress. His wife was sitting among a company of indifferent scorners. She looked as though she desired all to understand that she scorned those who were thus humiliating themselves. {2T 604.1}

I dreamed that the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I arose amid cries and prayers, and said: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. I feel urged to say to you that you must commence to work individually for yourselves. You are looking to God and desiring Him to do the work for you which He has left for you to do. If you will do the work for yourselves which you know that you ought to do, then God will help you when you need help. You have left undone the very things which God has left for you to do. You have been calling upon God to do your work. Had you followed the light which He has given you, then He would cause more light to shine upon you; but while you neglect the counsels, warnings, and reproofs that have been given, how can you expect God

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to give you more light and blessings to neglect and despise? God is not as man; He will not be trifled with. {2T 604.2}

I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the Church, given for the people of God. Here, said I, the cases of nearly all are met. The sins they are to shun are pointed out. The counsel that they desire can be found h ere, given for other cases situated similarly to themselves. God has been pleased to give you line upon line and precept upon precept. But there are not many of you that really know what is contained in the Testimonies. You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He h as sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings. {2T 605.1}

The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimonies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of His word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man’s duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God’s word; yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse. {2T 605.2}

Pride, self-love, selfishness, hatred, envy, and jealousy have beclouded the perceptive powers, and the truth, which would

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make you wise unto salvation, has lost its power to charm and control the mind. The very essential principles of godliness are not understood because there is not a hungering and thirsting for Bible knowledge, purity of heart, and holiness of life. The Testimonies are not to belittle the word of God, but to exalt it and attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all. {2T 605.3}

I said further: As the word of God is walled in with these books and pamphlets, so has God walled you in with reproofs, counsel, warnings, and encouragements. Here you are crying before God, in the anguish of your souls, for more light. I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway until you make a practical use of the light already given. The Lord has walled you about with light; but you have not appreciated the light; you have trampled upon it. While some have despised the light, others have neglected it, or followed it but indifferently. A few have set their hearts to obey the light which God has been pleased to give them. {2T 606.1}

Some that have received special warnings through testimony have forgotten in a few weeks the reproof given. The testimonies to some have been several times repeated, but they have not thought them of sufficient importance to be carefully heeded. They have been to them like idle tales. Had they regarded the light given they would have avoided losses and trials which they think are hard and severe. They have only themselves to censure. They have placed upon their own necks a yoke which they find grievous to be borne. It is not the yoke which Christ has bound upon them. God’s care and love were exercised in their behalf; but their selfish, evil, unbelieving souls could not discern His goodness and mercy. They rush on in their own wisdom until, overwhelmed with trials and confused with perplexity, they are ensnared by Satan. When

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you gather up the rays of light which God has given in the past, then will He give an increase of light. {2T 606.2}

I referred them to ancient Israel. God gave them His law, but they would not obey it. He then gave them ceremonies and ordinances, that, in the performance of these, God might be kept in remembrance. They were so prone to forget Him and His claims upon them that it was necessary to keep their minds stirred up to realize their obligations to obey and honor their Creator. Had they been obedient, and loved to keep God’s commandments, the multitude of ceremonies and ordinances would not have been required. {2T 607.1}

If the people who now profess to be God’s peculiar treasure would obey His requirements, as specified in His word, special testimonies would not be given to awaken them to their duty and impress upon them their sinfulness and their fearful danger in neglecting to obey the word of God. Consciences have been blunted because light has been set aside, neglected, and despised. And God will remove these testimonies from the people, and will deprive them of strength, and humble them. {2T 607.2}

I dreamed that, as I was speaking, the power of God fell upon me in a most remarkable manner, and I was deprived of all strength, yet I had no vision. I thought that my husband stood up before the people and exclaimed: “This is the wonderful power of God. He has made the testimonies a powerful means of reaching souls, and He will work yet more mightily through them than He has hitherto done. Who will be on the Lord’s side?” {2T 607.3}

I dreamed that quite a number instantly sprang to their feet and responded to the call. Others sat sullen, some manifested scorn and derision, and a few seemed wholly unmoved. One stood by my side and said: “God has raised you up and has given you words to speak to the people and to reach hearts as He has given to no other one. He has shaped your

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testimonies to meet cases that are in need of help. You must be unmoved by scorn, derision, reproach, and censure. In order to be God’s special instrument, you should lean to no one, but hang upon Him alone, and, like the clinging vine, let your tendrils entwine about Him. He will make you a means through which to communicate His light to the people. You must daily gather strength from God in order to be fortified, that your surroundings may not dim or eclipse the light that He has permitted to shine upon His people through you. It is Satan’s special object to prevent this light from coming to the people of God, who so greatly need it amid the perils of these last days. {2T 607.4}

“Your success is in your simplicity. As soon as you depart from this, and fashion your testimony to meet the minds of any, your power is gone. Almost everything in this age is glossed and unreal. The world abounds in testimonies given to please and charm for the moment, and to exalt self. Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life, keeping the feeble faith from dying, and pressing home upon believers the necessity of shining as lights in the world. {2T 608.1}

“God has given you your testimony, to set before the backslider and the sinner his true condition and the immense loss he is sustaining by continuing a life of sin. God has impressed this upon you by opening it before your vision as He has to no other one now living, and according to the light He has given you will He hold you responsible. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins.”  {2T 608.2}

This dream had a powerful influence upon me. When I awoke, my depression was gone, my spirits were cheerful, and I realized great peace. Infirmities that had unfitted me for labor were removed, and I realized a strength and vigor to

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which I had for months been a stranger. It seemed to me that angels of God had been commissioned to bring me relief. Unspeakable gratitude filled my heart for this great change from despondency to light and happiness. I knew that help had come from God. This manifestation appeared to me like a miracle of God’s mercy, and I will not be ungrateful for His loving-kindness. {2T 608.3}

Chap. 76 – Manners and Dress of Ministers

[REPORTED AS SPOKEN BEFORE THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF 1871.]

Ephesians 3:6, 7: “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.” {2T 609.1}

“Whereof I was made a minister,” not merely to present the truth to the people, but to carry it out in the life. {2T 609.2}

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” Verse 3:9. This does not refer merely to the words that roll off the tongue; it is not merely to be eloquent in speaking and praying; but it is to make known Christ, to have Christ in us, and make Him known to those that hear. {2T 609.3}

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,” not as novices, not in ignorance, “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:28, 29. It is the work of God, the grace from God, realized and felt,gracing the life and actions, which is to make a sensible impression upon those that hear. {2T 609.4}

But it is not this only. There are other things to be

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considered, in which some have been negligent, but which are of consequence, in the light in which they have been presented before me. Impressions are made upon the people by the deportment of the speaker in the desk, by his attitude, and by his manner of speaking. If these things are as God would have them, the impression they make will be in favor of the truth; especially will that class be favorably impressed who have been listening to fables. It is important that the minister’s manner be modest and dignified, in keeping with the holy, elevating truth he teaches, that a favorable impression may be made upon those who are not naturally inclined to religion. {2T 609.5}

Carefulness in dress is an important item. There has been a lack here with ministers who believe present truth. The dress of some has been even untidy. Not only has there been a lack of taste and order in arranging the dress in a becoming manner upon the person, and in having the color suitable and becoming for a minister of Christ, but the apparel of some has been even slovenly. Some ministers wear a vest of a light color, while their pants are dark, or a dark vest and light pants, with no taste or orderly arrangement of the dress upon the person when they come before the people. These things are preaching to the people. The minister gives them an example of order, and sets before them the propriety of neatness and taste in their apparel, or he gives t hem lessons in slackness and lack of taste which they will be in danger of following. {2T 610.1}

Black or dark material is more becoming to a minister in the desk and will make a better impression upon the people than would be made by a combination of two or three different colors in his apparel. {2T 610.2}

I was pointed back to the children of Israel anciently, and was shown that God had given specific directions in regard to the material and style of dress to be worn by those who ministered before Him. The God of heaven, whose arm

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moves the world, who sustains us and gives us life and health, has given us evidence that He may be honored or dishonored by the apparel of those who officiate before Him. He gave special directions to Moses in regard to everything connected with His service. He gave instruction even in regard to the arrangement of their houses and specified the dress which those should wear who were to minister in His service. They were to maintain order in everything and especially to preserve cleanliness. {2T 610.3}

Read the directions that were given to Moses to be made known to the children of Israel as God was about to come down upon the mount to speak in their hearing His holy law. What did He command Moses to have the people do? To be ready against the third day; for on the third day, said He, the Lord will come down upon the mount in the sight of all the people. They were to set bounds about the mount. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.” That great and mighty God who created the beautiful Eden and everything lovely in it is a God of order, and He wants order and cleanliness with His people. That mighty God directed Moses to tell the people to wash their clothes lest there should be impurity in their clothing and about their persons as they came up before the Lord. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and they washed their clothes, according to the command of God. {2T 611.1}

And to show how careful they were to be in regard to cleanliness, Moses was to put a laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, “and put water there, to wash withal.” And Moses and Aaron, and Aaron’s sons that ministered before the Lord , were to wash their hands and their feet thereat when they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they went in before the Lord. {2T 611.2}

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This was the commandment of the great and mighty God. There was to be nothing slack and untidy about those who appeared before Him when they came into His holy presence. And why was this? What was the object of all this carefulness? Was it merely to recommend the people to God? Was it merely to gain His approbation? The reason that was given me was this, that a right impression might be made upon the people. If those who ministered in sacred office should fail to manifest care, and reverence for God, in their apparel and their deportment, the people would lose their awe and their reverence for God and His sacred service. If the priests showed great reverence for God by being very careful and very particular as they came into His presence, it gave the people an exalted idea of God and His requirements. It showed them that God was holy, that His work was sacred, and that everything in connection with His work must be holy; that it must be free from everything like impurity and uncleanness; and that all defilement must be put away from those who approach nigh to God. {2T 612.1}

From the light that has been given me, there has been a carelessness in this respect. I might speak of it as Paul presents it. It is carried out in will-worship and neglecting of the body. But this voluntary humility, this will-worship and neglecting of the body, is not the humility that savors of heaven. That humility will be particular to have the person and actions and apparel of all who preach the holy truth of God, right and perfectly proper, so that every item connected with us will recommend our holy religion. The very dress will be a recommendation of the truth to unbelievers. It will be a sermon in itself. {2T 612.2}

But things that are wrong often transpire in the sacred desk. One minister conversing with another in the desk before the congregation, laughing and appearing to have no burden of the work, or lacking a solemn sense of his sacred calling,

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dishonors the truth and brings the sacred down upon the low level of common things. The example tends to remove the fear of God from the people and to detract from the sacred dignity of the gospel which Christ died to magnify. According to the light that has been given me, it would be pleasing to God for ministers to bow down as soon as they step into the pulpit, and solemnly ask help from God. What impression would that make? There would be solemnity and awe upon the people. Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon the people, and angels of God are brought very near. Ministers should look to God the first thing as they come into the desk, thus saying to all: God is the source of my strength. {2T 612.3}

A minister who is negligent in his apparel often wounds those of good taste and refined sensibilities. Those who are faulty in this respect should correct their errors and be more circumspect. The loss of some souls at last will be traced to the untidiness of the minister. The first appearance affected the people unfavorably because they could not in any way link his appearance with the truths he presented. His dress was against him; and the impression given was that the people whom he represented were a careless set who cared nothing about their dress, and his hearers did not want anything to do with such a class of people. {2T 613.1}

Here, according to the light that has been given me, there has been a manifest neglect among our people. Ministers sometimes stand in the desk with their hair in disorder, looking as if it had been untouched by comb and brush for a week. God is dishonored when those who engage in His sacred service are so neglectful of their appearance. Anciently the priests were required to have their garments in a particular style to do service in the holy place and minister in the priest’s office. They were to have garments in accordance with their work,

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and God distinctly specified what these should be. The laver was placed between the altar and the congregation, that before they came into the presence of God, in the sight of the congregation, they might wash their hands and their feet. What impression was this to make upon the people? It was to show them that every particle of dust must be put away before they could go into the presence of God; for He was so high and holy that unless they did comply with these conditions, death would follow. {2T 613.2}

But look at the style of dress worn by some of our ministers at the present day. Some who minister in sacred things so arrange their dress upon their persons that, to some extent at least, it destroys the influence of their labor. There is an apparent lack of taste in color and neatness of fit. What is the impression given by such a manner of dress? It is that the work in which they are engaged is considered no more sacred or elevated than common labor, as plowing in the field. The minister by his example brings down sacred things upon a level with common things. {2T 614.1}

The influence of such preachers is not pleasing to God. If any are brought out to receive the truth from their labors, they frequently imitate their preachers and come down to the same low level with them. It will be more difficult to remodel these an d bring them into a right position, and teach them true order and love for discipline, than to labor to convert to the truth men and women who have never heard it. The Lord requires His ministers to be pure and holy, to rightly represent the principles of truth in their own lives, and by their example to bring others up upon a high level. {2T 614.2}

God requires all who profess to be His chosen people, though they are not teachers of the truth, to be careful to preserve personal cleanliness and purity, also cleanliness and order in their houses and upon their premises. We are

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examples to the world, living epistles known and read of all men. God requires all who profess godliness, and especially those who teach the truth to others, to abstain from all appearance of evil. {2T 614.3}

From the light I have had, the ministry is a sacred and exalted office, and those who accept this position should have Christ in their hearts and manifest an earnest desire to represent Him worthily before the people in all their acts, in their dress, in their speaking, and even in their manner of speaking. They should speak with reverence. Some destroy the solemn impression they may have made upon the people, by raising their voices to a very high pitch and hallooing and screaming out the truth. When presented in this manner, truth loses much of its sweetness, its force and solemnity.But if the voice is toned right, if it has solemnity, and is so modulated as to be even pathetic, it will produce a much better impression. This was the tone in which Christ taught His disciples. He impressed them with solemnity; He spoke in a pathetic manner. But this loud hallooing–what does it do? It does not give the people any more exalted views of the truth and does not impress them any more deeply. It only causes a disagreeable sensation to the hearers and wears out the vocal organs of the speaker. The tones of the voice have much to do in affecting the hearts of those that hear. {2T 615.1}

Many who might be useful men are using up their vital force and destroying their lungs and vocal organs by their manner of speaking. Some ministers have acquired a habit of hurriedly rattling off what they have to say as though they had a lesson to repeat and were hastening through it as fast as possible. This is not the best manner of speaking. By using proper care, every minister can educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively, not to hurriedly crowd the words together without taking time to breathe. He should speak in

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a moderate manner, that the people may get the ideas fixed in their minds as he passes along. But when the matter is rushed through so rapidly, the people cannot get the points in their minds, and they do not have time to receive the impression that it is important for them to have; nor is there time for the truth to affect them as it otherwise would. {2T 615.2}

Speaking from the throat, letting the words come out from the upper extremity of the vocal organs, all the time fretting and irritating them, is not the best way to preserve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel, but do not depend upon them to do the work. If you let your words come from deep down, exercising the abdominal muscles, you can speak to thousands with just as much ease as you can speak to ten. {2T 616.1}

Some of our preachers are killing themselves by long, tedious praying and loud speaking, when a lower tone would make a better impression and save their own strength. Now, while you go on regardless of the laws of life and health, and follow the impulse of the moment, do not charge it upon God if you break down. Many of you waste time and strength in long preliminaries and excuses as you commence to speak. Instead of apologizing because you are about to address the people, you should commence your labor as though God had something for you to say to them. Some use up nearly half an hour in making apologies; thus the time is frittered away, and when they get to their subject, where they are desirous to fasten the points of truth, the people are wearied out and cannot see their force or be impressed with them. You should make the essential points of present truth as distinct as mileposts so that the people will understand them. They will then see the arguments you want to present and the positions you want to sustain. {2T 616.2}

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There is another class that address the people in a whining tone. Their hearts are not softened by the Spirit of God, and they think they must make an impression by the appearance of humility. Such a course does not exalt the gospel ministry, but brings it down and degrades it. Ministers should present the truth warm from glory. They should speak in such a manner as rightly to represent Christ and preserve the dignity becoming His ministers. {2T 617.1}

The long prayers made by some ministers have been a great failure. Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. They injure the throat and vocal organs, and then they talk of breaking down by their hard labor. They injure themselves when it is not called for. Many feel that praying injures their vocal organs more than talking.This is in consequence of the unnatural position of the body, and the manner of holding the head. They can stand and talk, and not feel injured. The position in prayer should be perfectly natural. Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ. Half or even quarter of an hour is altogether too long. A few minutes’ time is long enough to bring your case before God and tell Him what you want; and you can take the people with you and not weary them out and lessen their interest in devotion and prayer. They may be refreshed and strengthened, instead of exhausted. {2T 617.2}

A mistake has been made by many in their religious exercises in long praying and long preaching, upon a high key, with a forced voice, in an unnatural strain and an unnatural tone. The minister has needlessly wearied himself and really distressed the people by hard, labored exercise, which is all unnecessary. Ministers should speak in a manner to reach and impress the people. The teachings of Christ were impressive and solemn; His voice was melodious. And should not we, as well as Christ, study to have melody in our voices? He had

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a mighty influence, for He was the Son of God. We are so far beneath Him and so far deficient, that, do the very best we can, our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and possess the influence that He had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence upon the people? Our words, our actions, our deportment, our dress, everything, should preach. Not only with our words should we speak to the people, but everything pertaining to our person should be a sermon to them, that right impressions may be made upon them, and that the truth spoken may be taken by them to their homes. Thus our faith will stand in a better light before the community. {2T 617.3}

I never realized more than I do today the exalted character of the work, its sacredness and holiness, and the importance of our being fitted for it. I see the need in myself. I must have a new fitting up, a holy unction, or I cannot go any further to instruct others. I must know that I am walking with God. I must know that I understand the mystery of godliness. I must know that the grace of God is in my own heart, that my own life is in accordance with His will, that I am walking in His footsteps. Then my words will be true and my actions right. {2T 618.1}

But there is another point that I had almost forgotten. It is the influence which the preacher should exert in his ministry. His work is not merely to stand in the desk. It is but just begun there. He should enter the different families, and carry Christ there, carry his sermons there, carry them out in his actions and his words. As he visits a family he should inquire into their condition. Is he the shepherd of the flock? The work of a shepherd is not all done in the desk. He should talk with all the members of the flock, with the parents to learn their standing, and with the children to learn theirs. A minister should feed the flock over which God has made him

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overseer. It would be agreeable to go into the house and study; but if you do this to the neglect of the work which God has commissioned you to perform, you do wrong. Never enter a family without inviting them together, and bowing down and praying with them before you leave. Inquire into the health of their souls. What does a skillful physician do? He inquires into the particulars of the case, then seeks to administer remedies. Just so the physician of the soul should inquire into the spiritual maladies with which the members of his flock are afflicted, then go to work to administer the proper remedies, and ask the Great Physician to come to his aid. Give them the help that they need.Such ministers will receive all that respect and honor which is due them as ministers of Christ. And in doing for others their own souls will be kept alive. They must be drawing strength from God in order to impart strength to those to whom they shall minister. {2T 618.2}

May the Lord help us to seek Him with all the heart; I want to know that I daily gather the divine rays from glory, that emanate from the throne of God and shine from the face of Jesus Christ, and scatter them in the pathway around me. I want to be all light in the Lord. {2T 619.1}

Chap. 78 – The Cause in Vermont

I have been shown that the disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities, “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” If they obey the teachings of Christ in His Sermon on the Mount, they will be seeking continually for perfection of Christian character, and will be truly the light of the world, channels through which God will communicate His divine will, the truth of heavenly origin, to those who sit in darkness and who have no knowledge of the way of life and salvation. {2T 631.2}

God cannot display the knowledge of His will and the wonders of His grace among the unbelieving world unless He has witnesses scattered all over the earth. It is His plan that those

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who are partakers of this great salvation through Jesus Christ should be His missionaries, bodies of light throughout the world, to be as signs to the people, living epistles, known and read of all men, their faith and works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour and showing that they have not received the grace of God in vain. The people must be warned to prepare for the coming judgment. To those who have been listening only to fables, God will give an opportunity to hear the sure word of prophecy, whereunto they do well that they take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. He will present the sure word of truth to the understanding of all who will take heed; all may contrast truth with the fables presented to them by men who claim to understand the word of God and to be qualified to instruct those in darkness.{2T 631.3}

In order to increase the numbers at Bordoville, brethren have moved there, leaving the places from which they came destitute of strength and influence to sustain meetings. This has pleased the enemies of God and the truth. Those brethren should have remained as faithful witnesses, their good works testifying to the genuineness of their faith by exemplifying in their lives the purity and power of the truth. Their influence would convict and convert, or condemn. {2T 632.1}

Every follower of Jesus has a work to do as a missionary for Christ in the family, in the neighborhood, in the town or city where he lives. All who are consecrated to God are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate to others the light of truth, the riches of His grace. Unbelievers may appear indifferent and careless; yet God is impressing and convicting their hearts that there is a reality in the truth. But when our brethren leave the field, give up the contest, an d allow the cause of God to languish, before God says, “Let them alone,” they will be only a burden to any church where they may move. Those whom they leave,

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who were convicted, frequently quiet their consciences with thinking that, after all, they were needlessly anxious; they decide that there is no reality in the profession made by Seventh-day Adventists. Satan triumphs to see the vine of God’s planting either entirely uprooted or left to languish. It is not the purpose of God that His people should cluster together and concentrate their influence in a special locality. {2T 632.2}

The efforts of the Brethren D to encourage brethren to move to their place were made in good faith, yet not according to the mind of God. God’s ways are not as our ways. He seeth not as man seeth. Their object was good; but, in so doing, the purposes of God in regard to the salvation of souls could not be carried out. {2T 633.1}

God designs that His people shall be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. The plan of gathering together in large numbers, to compose a large church, has contracted their influence, and narrowed down their sphere of usefulness, and is literally putting their light under a bushel. It is God’s design that the knowledge of the truth should come to all, that none may remain in darkness, ignorant of its principles; but that all should be tested upon it and decide for or against it, that all may be warned and left without excuse. The plan of colonizing, or moving from different localities where there is but little strength or influence, and concentrating the influence of many in one locality, is removing the light from places where God would have it shine. {2T 633.2}

The followers of Christ scattered throughout the world do not have a high sense of their responsibility and the obligation resting upon them to let their light shine forth to others. If there are but one or two in a place, they can, although few in number, so conduct themselves before the world as to have an influence which will impress the unbeliever with the sincerity of their faith. The followers of Jesus are not meeting the mind

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and will of God if they are content to remain in ignorance of His word. All should become Bible students. Christ commanded His followers: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Peter exhorts us: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” {2T 633.3}

Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial, not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have believed it, and they take it for granted that it is the truth. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe. Many have allowed their minds to be filled with things of minor importance, and their eternal interest is made secondary. Their own souls are dwarfed and crippled in spiritual growth. Others are not enlightened or edified by their experience or by the knowledge which it was their privilege and duty to obtain. Strength and stability are with truehearted professors. {2T 634.1}

Christ and Him crucified should become the theme of our thoughts and stir the deepest emotions of our souls. The true followers of Christ will appreciate the great salvation which He has wrought for them; and wherever He leads the way, they will follow. They will consider it a privilege to bear whatever burdens Christ may lay upon them. It is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth of the human soul. Such is the value of men for whom Christ died that the Father is satisfied with the infinite price which He pays for the salvation of man in yielding up His own Son to die for their redemption. What wisdom, mercy, and love in its fullness are here manifested! The worth of man is known only by going

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to Calvary. In the mystery of the cross of Christ we can place an estimate upon man. {2T 634.2}

What a responsible position, to unite with the Redeemer of the world in the salvation of men! This work calls for self-denial, sacrifice, and benevolence, for perseverance, courage, and faith. But those who minister in word and doctrine have not the fruit of the grace of God in their hearts and lives; they have not faith. This is why there are so small results from their labor. Many who profess to be ministers of Christ manifest a wonderful submission as they see the unconverted all around them going to perdition. A minister of Christ has no right to be at ease and sit down submissively in view of the fact that his presentation of the truth is powerless and souls are not stirred by it. He should resort to prayer, and should work and pray without ceasing. Those who submit to remain destitute of spiritual blessings, without earnest wrestling for those blessings,consent to have Satan triumph. Persistent, prevailing faith is necessary. God’s ministers must come into closer companionship with Christ and follow His example in all things, in purity of life, in self-denial, in benevolence, in diligence, in perseverance. They should remember that a record will one day appear in evidence against them for the least omission of duty. {2T 635.1}

Brother D did not discern that in thus encouraging brethren to move to his place he was bringing burdens upon himself and into the church; he did not see that it would require much time and labor to keep them in a condition where they could be a help instead of a hindrance. He thought that if he could collect families at his place they would help compose a church and relieve him of care and burdens. But it has proved at Bordoville as at Battle Creek; the more the brethren moved there, the heavier were the burdens which fell upon the laborers who had the cause of God at heart. Men and women of

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varied minds and different organizations could cluster together and live in sweet harmony, if they would esteem others better than themselves, if they would love their neighbors as themselves, as Christ enjoined upon them. {2T 635.2}

But it is most difficult to deal with human minds that are not under the special control of the Spirit of God and are exposed to the control of Satan. Selfishness so possesses the hearts of men and women, and iniquity is so cherished, even by some pro fessing godliness, that the clustering together of a large company should be avoided; for they will not thus be the most happy. {2T 636.1}

Those whom Brother D really desired to have come to Bordoville were those whom he considered the best of society, capable of exerting a good influence. Just such men and women are wanted to be stationed over the world as faithful sentinels, that those who are without God may be convinced that there is a power in the religion of Christ. Such men of influence are in truth the salt of the earth. God would not be pleased to have them congregate together and narrow down their sphere of usefulness. Reliable men are very scarce for the reason that the hearts of men are so devoted to their own selfish interests that they know no other. {2T 636.2}

If there could be a number of picked men at the important post at Battle Creek, God would be pleased; and if they would make a sacrifice of their own selfish interests for the sake of the suffering cause, they would only be following in the footsteps of their Redeemer, who left His glory, His majesty and high command, and for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. Christ sacrificed for man; but man, in his turn, will not willingly and cheerfully sacrifice for Christ. If a number of responsible, true-hearted, burden-bearing men and women who could be depended upon as minutemen, who would promptly respond

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to the call for help when help is needed, would move to Battle Creek, God would be glorified. God wants men at Battle Creek who can be depended upon; who will ever be found on the right side in times of danger; who will faithfully war against the enemy, instead of taking their position with those who trouble the Israel of God, and stand in defense of those who weaken the hands of God’s servants, turning their weapons against the very ones whom God enjoins upon them to sustain. In order to prosper, every church must have men upon whom it can rely in times of peril, men who are as true as steel, unselfish men, who have the interest of God’s cause lying nearer their hearts than anything which concerns their own opinions or their worldly interests.  {2T 636.3}

Churches are not wholly composed of pure, sincere Christians. Not all the names that stand registered upon the church books are worthy to be there. The life and character of some as compared with others is as gold with worthless dross. It need not be so. Those who are valuable in life and influence have felt the importance of following Jesus closely, of making the life of Christ their study and example. This will require effort, meditation, and earnest prayer. It requires exertion to obtain the victory over selfishness and to make the interest of God’s cause primary. Some have made the effort and practiced close discipline of self, and they have gained precious victories. Those who consider their own interest primary, live for self. Their character in the sight of God is as worthless dross. {2T 637.1}

Brother D has had more than one man should do in working for the interest of the church in his place. If he absented himself for a short time to labor for others, heavier and greater burdens were all ready to be laid upon him when he returned home. He has permitted them to rest upon his shoulders, and has bowed groaning under the load.The Brethren D have

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been in danger of being too exacting and of presenting their own lives and example as a criterion. Self has not been lost sight of in Christ. These brethren should say little about self, but exalt Christ. They should hide behind Jesus and let Him alone appear as the perfect pattern which all should seek to copy. {2T 637.2}

Where were the men to be depended upon in times of trial and danger? Where were the God-fearing men to rally around the standard when the foe was seeking an advantage? Some who should have been at their post were unfaithful when their help was most needed. Their course showed that they had no special interest in the advancement of the work and cause of God. Some thought that too much was expected of them; and, instead of cheerfully moving forward to do what they could, they sat down in Satan’s easy chair and refused to do anything. {2T 638.1}

Some were ever jealous. Brother E was of this class. He has a peculiar stubbornness in his organization that leads him to persist in a wrong course because he thinks it would gratify his brethren for him to change and take an opposite course. At times, when he feels just like it, he is ready to do anything in his power to advance the cause of God. But he loves so well to have his own way that he will let the precious cause of God suffer rather than give up his will and his way. Brother E is not a man who can be depended upon. He is subject to the temptations of Satan and is frequently under his control. He has a selfish, unsubdued heart. He is fitful, impulsive, now hating, then loving. At times he is kind, at other times jealous, envious, and very selfish. He cannot perfect Christian character until he resists temptation, subdues his own stubborn will, and cherishes a spirit of humility, a willingness to see and confess his errors. He has been, at times, true and earnest. Then a wave would carry him in an opposite direction, and he would cherish jealousy, envy, and distrust. Self and selfish interest were paramount, he was full of faultfinding, and

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suspicious that others did not appreciate him, but wished to injure him. Brother E needs a thorough conversion. It is not enough for men to profess the truth. They may acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing–have no experimental knowledge in their daily life–of the sanctifying influence of the truth upon the heart and life, or of the power of true godliness. {2T 638.2}

The truth is holy and powerful, and will effect a thorough reformation in the hearts and lives of those who are sanctified by it. Brother E is capable of exerting an influence for good. If he subdues self and humbles his heart before God he can become a true bearer of the yoke of Christ. He can be a help instead of a hindrance to his family and to others. He weakens the cause of God in Bordoville because of the defects in his Christian character. If Brother E lives according to the light he has received, he will work out his salvation with fear and trembling, and, in so doing, will let a bright light shine upon the pathway of others and will glorify God. The case of Brother E represents that of others in the church who need the same work of transformation in their hearts in order to be right. {2T 639.1}

Brother F can be more useful in his life than he now is or has ever been. God has not called him especially to minister in word and doctrine. He is not qualified for this position, yet he can do errands for the Lord and be a help in the meetings. If he lives in the light himself he can reflect light to others. He can be a blessing to others; he can speak words of comfort and encouragement to the desponding. But in order to do this, he should encourage a more hopeful, cheerful spirit himself, refusing to look upon the dark side or to talk unbelief. He should express cheerfulness, hope, and courage in his words and even in the tones of his voice. {2T 639.2}

Sister G has infirmities, yet she does not make the best of her case. She permits the enemy to control her mind and

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increase her difficulties by an unsubmissive spirit. She suffers from bodily infirmities and should have sympathy; but restlessness, peevishness, complaints, murmuring, and useless regrets do not alleviate her sufferings or bring happiness to her, but only aggravate the difficulty. {2T 639.3}

The world is full of dissatisfied spirits who overlook the happiness and blessings within their reach, and are continually seeking for happiness and satisfaction that they do not realize. They are constantly on the stretch for some expected, far-off good greater than they possess, and are ever in a state of disappointment. They cherish unbelief and ingratitude, in that they overlook the blessings right in their pathway. The common, everyday blessings of life are unwelcome to them, as was the manna to the children of Israel. {2T 640.1}

Sister G is addressed by Christ: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, 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.” The words, deportment, and general example of Sister G teach a lesson entirely different from that taught by our Lord. She loses much in overlooking the present blessings within her grasp and uneasily searching for happiness. Her effo rts are unrewarded, and her fruitless search makes great unhappiness for herself and for all who associate with her. Her unrest, her anxious, troubled spirit, is expressed in her countenance and casts a shadow. This gloom, unbelief, and discontent encourages the temptations of the enemy. By her continual distrust, by borrowing trouble, she casts a shadow instead of shedding a sunbeam. {2T 640.2}

Brother G should be patient and forbearing, and carefully shield her from unnecessary burdens; for she is not prepared to bear them. She, in her turn, should watch against the incoming foe, should take up her life burdens unmurmuringly and bear them with cheerfulness, sweetening them all

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with gratitude because they are no heavier. Brother G is prone to look upon the dark side. He should hold himself in readiness to do the will of God and use to the very best advantage the influence which God has given him. He should cheerfully perform the duties of today and not borrow tomorrow’s trouble to make himself miserable over. He has not to perform the duties of next week, but the work and duties which the day brings. {2T 640.3}

Brother and Sister G should unite their influence in saying: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” It is a misfortune to borrow the trouble of next week to embitter the present week. When real trouble comes, God will fit every meek and lowly one to bear it. When His providence permits it to come, He will provide help to endure it. Fretting and murmuring cloud and stain the soul, and shut out the bright sunlight from the pathway of others. {2T 641.1}

Brother G might have pursued a course to help Brother H and at the same time help himself; but selfishness deprived Brother H of advantages, and Brother G himself was disadvantaged through fear that he would advantage others. Brother G has not loved his neighbor as himself, and his supreme selfishness in many things has deprived him of good and shut away from him the blessing of God. In the end, it does not profit any man to be selfish; for God marks it all and will render to every man according to his works. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly.” {2T 641.2}

I have mentioned these persons to represent the true state of many in the church at Bordoville whose cases are similar. The many congregated at that place have brought burdens and cares upon Brother D to keep them straight. Had they been free from jealousy, and kept themselves in the love of God, they would have stayed up his hands, comforted his heart, and sent him forth to labor for the salvation of souls, while

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their prayers would have followed him as sharp sickles in the harvest field. Their lack of consecration and devotion to God has weakened their own faith, weakened the hands of Brother D, destroyed his courage, and made his labors in the gospel field nearly useless. Church trials at home have crippled his efforts both at home and abroad, and kept his labors confined, in a great measure, to the locality of his place. This confining of the labor mostly to one locality has a withering influence upon the spiritual interest and zeal of a minister of Christ. {2T 641.3}

In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, laborers must have a varied experience. This will be best acquired in extended labor in new fields, in different localities, where they will come in contact with all classes of people and all varieties of minds, and where various kinds of labor will be required to meet the wants of many and varied minds. This drives the true laborer to God and the Bible for light, strength, and knowledge, that he may be fully qualified to meet the wants of the people. He should heed the exhortation given to Timothy: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” Wisdom is needed to discern the most appropriate subject for the occasion. {2T 642.1}

Brother D has not been growing up into a successful workman. He has become dwarfed. His mind has been narrowed down, and his spiritual strength has been waning. He should now be a successful laborer, a thorough workman. Instead of giving himself wholly to the work, he has been serving tables. Paul exhorted Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to

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doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” {2T 642.2}

Brother D is active and willing to do, willing to bear burdens that are not connected with his calling; and he has had his mind and time too much engrossed in temporal things. Some ministers maintain a certain dignity not in accordance with the life of Christ, and are unwilling to make themselves useful by engaging in physical labor, as occasion may require, to lighten the burdens of those whose hospitalities they share,and to relieve them of care. Physical exercise would prove a blessing to them, rat her than an injury. In helping others they would advantage themselves. But some go to the other extreme. When their time and strength are all required in the work and cause of God, they are willing to engage in labor and become servants of all, even in temporal things; and they really rob God of the service He requires of them. Thus trivial matters take up precious time which should be devoted to the interests of God’s cause. {2T 643.1}

Brother J. N. Andrews has erred here. The time and strength which he has devoted to correspondence with his brethren, answering their private letters of inquiry, should have been given to the special interests of the work of God at large. But few realize the responsibilities resting upon the few ministers who bear the burdens in this cause. The brethren frequently call these men from the work to attend to their little matters, or to settle some church trial, which they can and should attend to themselves. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith,

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nothing wavering.” He must be earnest and persevering. If he is irresolute, doubting continually whether the Lord will indeed do as He has promised, he will receive nothing. {2T 643.2}

Many look to their ministers to bring the light from God to them, seeming to think this a cheaper way than to be to the trouble of going to God for it themselves. Such lose much. If they would daily follow Christ and make Him their guide and counselor, they might obtain a clear knowledge of His will, and thus be gaining a valuable experience. For want of this very experience, brethren professing the truth walk in the sparks of others’ kindling; they are unacquainted with the Spirit of God and have not a knowledge of His will, and are therefore easily moved from their faith. They are unstable, because they trusted in others to obtain an experience for them. Ample provisions have been made for every son and daughter of Adam to obtain individually a knowledge of the divine will, to perfect Christian character, and to be purified through the truth. God is dishonored by that class who profess to be followers of Christ and yet have no experimental knowledge of the divine will or of the mystery of godliness. {2T 644.1}

Brother D has had a multiplicity of home cares. The increase of numbers in the church has not lessened his burdens. The increase of numbers in his family has been too heavy a tax upon himself and his family, and these things have been a hindrance to his becoming a successful laborer. He has become rusty in the work of God and needs burnishing. His testimony needs to be vitalized by the Spirit and power of God. His brethren in Bordoville, who have not a special work to do in laboring in word and doctrine, should be awake to see where others need help, and should help them. Many close their eyes to the good which they have opportunity to do for others, and by their neglect they lose the blessing which they might obtain. Brother D has been left to bear burdens that

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his brethren should have considered it their duty and privilege to bear. {2T 644.2}

Our work in this world is to live for others’ good, to bless others, to be hospitable;and frequently it may be only at some inconvenience that we can entertain those who really need our care and the benefit of our society and our homes. Some avoid these necessary burdens. But someone must bear them; and because the brethren in general are not lovers of hospitality, and do not share equally in these Christian duties, a few who have willing hearts, and who cheerfully make the cases of those who need help their own, are burdened. A church should take special care to relieve its ministers of extra burdens in this direction. The ministers who are actively engaged in the cause of God, laboring for the salvation of souls, have continual sacrifices to make. {2T 645.1}

Brother D’s testimony needs to be enlivened by the grace of God. He needs a new anointing, that he may be able to comprehend the magnitude of the work and devote his entire being to the advancement of the cause of God. The Lord has work enough to employ all His followers. All can show forth His glory if they will. But the majority refuse to do this. They profess faith, but have not works. Their faith is dead, being alone. They shun responsibilities and burdens, and will be rewarded as their works have been. Because some will not lift the burdens they could lift, or do the work they might do, the work is too great for the few who will engage in it. They see so much to do that they overtax their strength and are fast wearing out. {2T 645.2}

God calls at this time for laborers whose interests are fully identified with His work and His cause. The ministers engaged in this work must be energized by the spirit and power of the truths they preach, and then they will have an influence. The people will seldom rise higher than their minister. A

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world-loving spirit in him has a tremendous influence upon others. The people make his deficiencies an excuse to cover their world-loving spirit. They quiet their own consciences, thinking that they may be free to love the things of this life and be indifferent to spiritual things because their ministers are so. They deceive their own souls and remain in friendship with the world, which the apostle declares to be enmity with God. {2T 645.3}

Ministers should be examples to the flock. They should manifest an undying love for souls and the same devotion to the cause which they desire to see in the people. The ministers in Vermont have made a mistake in their labor. They have passed over the same ground again and again to help the churches, when frequently they needed labor bestowed upon themselves, to bring them into a position where God could bless their labors and make them fruitful. There has not been one efficient, thorough laborer, full y qualified to keep up all parts of the work, in Vermont. {2T 646.1}

Brother and Sister I are invalids. God does not lay very heavy responsibilities upon them. They need to watch closely, lest they narrow down their influence. They have no children of their own to call into exercise parental love and care, and are in danger of becoming narrow, selfish, and notional in their views and feelings. All these things have a bad influence upon the cause of God. They should labor to keep their minds elevated above themselves and should not make themselves a criterion for others. Those who have no children of their own to share their thoughts and labor, and to call for the exercise of forbearance, patience, and love, should guard themselves lest their thoughts and labor center upon themselves. They are poorly qualified to instruct parents as to the training of their children, for they have not had experience in this work. Yet in very many cases those who have no children are the

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most ready to instruct those who have, when, at the same time, the former make children of themselves in many respects. They cannot be turned out of a certain course, and they require even more patience exercised toward them than children do. It is selfish to have a certain course marked out and pursue this course to the inconvenience of others. {2T 646.2}

It is little things which test the character. It is the unpretending acts of daily self-denial, with cheerfulness and gentleness, that God smiles upon. We should not live for ourselves, but for others. We should be a blessing by our forgetfulness of s elf and our thoughtfulness of others. We should cherish love, forbearance, and fortitude. {2T 647.1}

Very few realize the benefits of the care, responsibility, and experience that children bring to the family. Many have large families coming up without discipline; the parents are neglecting a precious trust and sacred duty, which, if faithfully performed in the fear of God, would obtain, not only for their children, but for themselves, a fitness for the kingdom of heaven. But a childless house is a desolate place. The hearts of the inmates are in danger of becoming selfish, of cherishing a love for their own ease, and consulting their own desires and conveniences. They gather sympathy to themselves, but have little to bestow upon others. Care and affection for dependent children removes the roughness from our natures, makes us tender and sympathetic, and has an influence to develop the nobler elements of our character. Many are diseased physically, mentally, and morally, because their attention is turned almost exclusively to themselves. They might be saved from stagnation by the healthy vitality of younger and varying minds, and the restless energy of children. {2T 647.2}

Brother J is aged. No weighty responsibility should now rest upon him. He has displeased God in his misapplied love for his children. He has had too much anxiety to help them

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pecuniarily that he might not offend them. In order to please, he has injured them. They are not wise and faithful in the management of means, even from the worldling’s standpoint. Viewed from a religious standpoint, they are very deficient. They have not conscientious scruples in regard to religious things. They do not adorn society by their position and influence in the world, nor do they adorn the cause of God by pure Christian morals and virtuous acts in the service of Christ. They have not been trained to habits of self-denial and self-reliance as their safeguards in life. Here is the great sin resting upon parents. They do not discipline their children and do not train them up for God. They do not teach them self-government, stability of character, and the necessity of a resolute, well-directed will. Most children, in this age, are left to come up. They are not taught the necessity of developing their physical and mental powers for some good purpose, to bless society with their influence, to be well qualified to adorn the Christian life, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God. {2T 647.3}

Brother J has erred in entrusting his property to his children. He has laid upon them responsibilities which they were not qualified to bear. He placed his means out of his control and has gathered up means from his brethren for his feeble labors. God has not been glorified by the course which he has pursued in regard to his property. He has excused a wrong course pursued by his children, which is not in keeping with our faith or the Bible standard. He has virtually said to the wicked, It shall be well with thee; when God has plainly declared it shall be ill with him. {2T 648.1}

These errors upon the part of Brother J show a great lack of heavenly wisdom and have, in a great degree, disqualified him for the solemn work resting upon the faithful minister of Christ. What can Brother J plead before God when the Master shall bid him give an account of his stewardship? He

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has been led by the unconsecrated minds of his children and has not felt the necessity of seeking counsel and advice from God’s servants who were standing in the light. He has been led by a perverted sympathy and has failed in judgment. He has been moving like a blind man. His course has injured himself and the cause of God. {2T 648.2}

It is not preachers merely, to go among the churches and pray and exhort occasionally, that Vermont needs. A cry for laborers could be consistently raised among God’s people in Vermont. Earnest, zealous workmen are needed to strengthen the things that remain by ministering to the spiritual wants of the people. The cause of God everywhere, especially in Vermont, needs burden bearers. Men go over and over the same ground, but accomplish very little, if anything. They have a good visit with their brethren, and this is frequently all that is accomplished; and yet they expect to be remunerated for their time. {2T 649.1}

The case of Brother and Sister K comes before me as I write. They have not practiced caring for others. They have not felt the responsibility resting upon them to be burden bearers. Brother K was shown me among others who have felt that they had a work to do for the Lord. Indeed he has, and so have very many others, if they will do it. There are thorough workmen in the cause of God, who have an experience in the work and who devote their time and strength to the service of God. These should be liberally sustained. But those who are merely starting out to visit the churches occasionally–especially those who have no families to provide for and who have a competency themselves–should not draw upon the treasury of the Lord. {2T 649.2}

Neither Brother nor Sister K has an experience in sacrificing for the truth, in being rich in good works, laying up their treasures in heaven. Their sympathy, care, and patience have

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not been called into exercise by dependent, loving children. They have consulted their own selfish convenience. Their hearts have not been a wellspring sending forth the living streams of tenderness and affection. In blessing others by kindly words of love and acts of mercy and benevolence, they would realize a blessing themselves. They have been too narrow in their sphere of usefulness. Unless such become transformed in mind and being, and are renewed by the spirit of Christ, they cannot become thorough, efficient workmen in the Redeemer’s cause. His life is the example for Christians. Self-sacrifice and disinterested benevolence should characterize their lives. Self-interest is too prominent. Oh, how little does Brother K know of what it is to labor for God, to lift the cross of Christ and walk in the footsteps of the self-denying Redeemer! {2T 649.3}

A minister of Christ, a teacher of the truth, a true shepherd, is in one sense a servant of all, anticipating the wants of those who need help, and knowing how to be useful here and there in the great work of saving souls. A man who professes to teach the truth, and goes just where he pleases, and works when and how he pleases, yet shuns responsibilities, is not bearing the cross after Christ nor fulfilling the commission of a gospel minister. Few know by experience what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake. They desire to be like Christ, but wish to avoid poverty and crucifixion. They would gladly be with Him in glory, but do not love to come to Him through much self-denial and tribulation. {2T 650.1}

It has not cost Brother K hard effort to search out the truth; for chosen men of God have prepared arguments to his hand, clear, plain, and convincing. Difficult points of present truth have been reached by the earnest efforts of a few who were devote d to the work. Fasting and fervent prayer to God have moved the Lord to unlock His treasuries of truth to their understanding. Wily opponents and boasting Goliaths have

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had to be met, sometimes face to face, but more frequently with the pen. Satan has urged men on to fierce opposition, to blind the eyes and darken the understanding of the people. The few who had the interest of the cause and truth of God at heart were aroused to its defense. They did not seek for ease, but were willing to venture even their lives for the truth’s sake. {2T 650.2}

These zealous searchers after truth risked their capital of strength and their all in the work of defending the truth and spreading the light. Link after link of the precious chain of truth has been searched out, until it stands forth in beautiful harmony, uniting in a perfect chain. These men of investigating minds have brought out arguments and made them so plain that a schoolboy may understand them. How easy now for men to become teachers of the truth, while they shun self-sacrifice and self-denial. {2T 651.1}

These searchers for truth have suffered for it and know what it cost. They value it and feel the most intense interest in its advancement. Self-denial and the cross lie directly in the pathway of every follower of Christ. The cross is that which crosses the natural affections and the will. If the heart is not wholly sanctified to God, if the will and affections and thoughts are not brought into subjection to the will of God, there will be a failure to carry out the principles of true religion and to exemplify in the life the life of Christ. There will not be a true desire to sacrifice ease and self-love, and the carnal mind will not be crucified to work the works of Christ. {2T 651.2}

There is a work to be accomplished for many who live at Bordoville. I saw that the enemy was busily at work to carry his points. Men to whom God has entrusted talents of means have shifted upon their children the responsibility which Heaven has appointed them of being stewards for God. Instead of rendering to God the things that are His, they claim that all they have is their own, as though by their own might

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and power and wisdom they had obtained their possessions. Who gave them power and wisdom to obtain earthly treasure? Who watered their lands with the dew of heaven and with the showers of rain? Who gave them the sun to warm the earth and awaken into life the things of nature, causing them to flourish for the benefit of man? Men whom God has blessed with His bounties clasp their arms about their earthly treasure and make these bounties and blessings, which God has graciously given them, a curse by filling their hearts with selfishness and distrust of Him. They accept the goods lent them, yet claim them as their own, forgetting that the Master has any claim upon them, and refusing to yield to Him even the interest that He demands. Riches cause the professed followers of Christ many perplexities and pierce them through with many sorrows because they forget God, and love and worship mammon. They allow worldly treasures to embitter their lives and prevent them from perfecting Christian character. And, as though this were not enough, they transmit to their children, to curse them, that which has proved the bane of their own lives. God has entrusted men with means to prove them, to see if they are willing to acknowledge Him in His gifts, and use them to advance His glory upon the earth. {2T 651.3}

The earth is the Lord’s, and all the treasures it contains. The cattle upon a thousand hills are His. All the gold and silver belongs to Him. He has entrusted His treasures to stewards, that with them they may advance His cause and glorify His name. He did not entrust these treasures to men that they might use them to exalt and glorify themselves, and have power to oppress those who were poor in this world’s treasure. God does not receive the offerings of any because He needs them and cannot have glory and riches without them, but because it is for the interest of His servants to render to God the

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things which are His. The freewill offerings of the humble, contrite heart He will receive, and will reward the giver with the richest blessings. He receives them as the sacrifice of grateful obedience. He requires and accepts our gold and silver as an evidence that all we have and are belongs to Him. He claims and accepts the improvement of our time and of our talents as the fruit of His love existing in our hearts. To obey is better than sacrifice. Without pure love the most expensive offering is too poor for God to accept.{2T 652.1}

Many have their hearts so fixed upon their earthly treasure that they do not discern the advantage of laying up for themselves treasures in heaven. They do not realize that their freewill offerings to God are not enriching Him, but themselves. Christ counsels us to lay up treasures in heaven. For whom? For God, that He may be enriched? Oh, no! The treasures of the entire world are His, and the indescribable glory and priceless treasures of heaven are all His own, to give to whom He will. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Men whom God has made stewards are so infatuated by the riches of this world that they do not discern that by their selfishness and covetousness they are not only robbing the Lord in tithes and offerings, but robbing themselves of eternal riches. They could be daily adding to their heavenly treasure by doing the very work that the Lord has left them to do, and which He has entrusted them with means to carry out. The Master would have them watch for opportunities to do good and , while they live, apply their means themselves to aid in the salvation of their fellow men and in the advancement of His cause in its various branches. In so doing they only do that which God requires of them; they render to God the things that are His. Many willingly close their eyes and hearts, lest they should see and feel the wants of the Lord’s cause, and by helping in its advancement should lessen their increase by detracting from

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the interest or the principal. Some feel that what they give to advance the cause of God is really lost. They consider so many dollars gone and feel dissatisfied unless they can immediately replace them so that their earthly treasure may not decrease. They exercise closeness and even sharpness in dealing with their brethren and also with worldlings. They do not scruple to overreach in deal in order to advantage themselves and gain a few dollars. {2T 653.1}

Some, fearing they will suffer loss of earthly treasure, neglect prayer and the assembling of themselves together for the worship of God, that they may have more time to devote to their farms or their business. They show by their works which world they place the highest estimate upon. They sacrifice religious privileges, which are essential to their spiritual advancement, for the things of this life and fail to obtain a knowledge of the divine will. They come short of perfecting Christian character and do not meet the measurement of God. They make their temporal, worldly interests first, and rob God of the time which they should devote to His service. Such persons God marks, and they will receive a curse rather than a blessing. Some place their means beyond their control by putting it into the hands of their children. Their secret motive is to place themselves in a position where they will not feel responsible to give of their property to spread the truth. These love in word, but not in deed and in truth . They do not realize that it is the Lord’s money they are handling, not their own. {2T 654.1}

Many would love to see souls converted if it could be done without any sacrifice on their part; but if their property is touched, they draw back, for it is of more value to them than the souls of men and women for whom Christ died. If those to whom Go d has entrusted means understood their responsibilities as His stewards, they would retain in their own hands

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that which God has lent them, that they might faithfully perform the duty devolving upon them to do their part in helping carry forward the work of God. If all could comprehend the plan of salvation, and the worth of even one soul purchased by the blood of Christ, they would make every other interest of minor consequence. {2T 654.2}

Parents should have great fear in entrusting children with the talents of means that God has placed in their hands, unless they have the surest evidence that their children have greater interest in, love for, and devotion to, the cause of God than the y themselves possess, and that these children will be more earnest and zealous in forwarding the work of God, and more benevolent in carrying forward the various enterprises connected with it which call for means. But many place their means in the hands of their children, thus throwing upon them the responsibility of their own stewardship, because Satan prompts them to do it. In so doing they effectually place that means in the enemy’s ranks. Satan works the matter to suit his own purpose and keeps from the cause of God the means which it needs, that it may be abundantly sustained. The efforts made to get the truth before the people are not half as thorough and extensive as they should be. Not a fiftieth part is now being done to extend the truth that might be done by scattering publications and bringing within the sound of the truth all that can be induced to come. {2T 655.1}

The probation of many is closing. Satan is daily gathering his harvest of souls. Some are making final decisions against the truth, and many are dying without a knowledge of it. Their minds are unenlightened, and their sins unrepented of; and yet men professing godliness are hoarding up their earthly treasures and directing their efforts to gaining more. They are insensible to the condition of men and women who come within the sphere of their influence and who are perishing for

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want of knowledge. Well-directed labor, bestowed in love and humility, would do much to enlighten and convert their fellow men; but the example of many who might do great good is virtually saying: Your souls are of less value to me than my worldly interests. {2T 655.2}

Many love the truth a little, but they love this world more. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Spiritual things are sacrificed for temporal. The fruit that such bear is not unto holiness, and their example will not be such as to convict sinners and convert them from the error of their ways to the truth. They allow souls to go to perdition, when they might save them if they would make as earnest efforts in their behalf as they have made to secure the treasures of this life. To obtain more of the things of the world, which they do not really need and which only increase their responsibility and condemnation, many labor on the high-pressure plan, and peril health and spiritual enjoyment, and the peace, comfort, and happiness of their families. They let souls go to perdition around them because they fear that it will require a little of their time and means to save them. Money is their god. They decide that it will not pay to sacrifice their means to save souls.  {2T 656.1}

The one to whom is entrusted one talent is not responsible for five, or for two, but for the one. Many neglect to lay up for themselves a treasure in heaven by doing good with the means that God has lent them. They distrust God and have a thousand fears in regard to the future. Like the children of Israel they have evil hearts of unbelief. God provided this people with abundance, as their needs required; but they borrowed trouble for the future. They complained and murmured in their travels that Moses had led them out to kill them and their children with hunger. Imaginary want closed their eyes and hearts from seeing the goodness and mercies of God in their journeyings, and they were ungrateful for all His bounties.

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So also are the distrustful, professed people of God in this age of unbelief and degeneracy. They fear that they may come to want, or that their children may become needy, or that their grandchildren will be destitute. They dare not trust God. They have no genuine faith in Him who has entrusted them with the blessings and bounties of life, and who has given them talents to use to His glory in advancing His cause. {2T 656.2}

Many have such a constant care for themselves that they give God no opportunity to care for them. If they should be a little short at times, and be brought into strait places, It would be the best thing for their faith. If they would calmly trust in God, and wait for Him to work for them, their necessity would be God’s opportunity; and His blessing in their emergency would increase their love for Him and lead them to prize their temporal blessings in a higher sense than they have ever done before. Their faith would increase, their hope would brighten, and cheerfulness would take the place of gloom and doubts and murmuring. The faith of very many does not grow for want of exercise. {2T 657.1}

That which is eating out the vitals of God’s people is the love of money and friendship with the world. It is the privilege of God’s people to be bright and shining lights in the world, to increase in the knowledge of God, and to have a clear understanding of His will. But the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the seed sown in their hearts, and they bear no fruit to His glory. They profess faith, but it is not a living faith because it is not sustained by works. Faith without works is dead, being alone. Those who profess great faith, yet have not works, will not be saved by their faith. Satan believes the truth and trembles, yet this kind of faith possesses no virtue. Many who have made a high profession of faith are deficient in good works. If they should show their faith by their works they could exert a powerful influence on

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the side of truth. But they do not improve upon the talents of means lent them of God. Those who think to ease their consciences by willing their property to their children, or by withholding from God’s cause and suffering it to pass into the hands of unbelieving, reckless children for them to squander or hoard up and worship, will have to render an account to God; they are unfaithful stewards of their Lord’s money. They allow Satan to outgeneral them through these children, whose minds are under his control. Satan’s purposes are accomplished in many ways, while the stewards of God seem stupefied and paralyzed; they do not realize their great responsibility and the reckoning which must shortly come. {2T 657.2}

Those who have property and whose minds are darkened by the god of this world seem to be controlled by Satan in the disposal of it. If they have true, believing children, and also children whose affections are wholly upon the things of the world, in making a transfer of their means to their children, they generally give a larger amount to those children who do not love God, and who are serving the enemy of all righteousness, than to those who are serving God. {2T 658.1}

They place in the hands of the unfaithful children the very things that will prove a snare to them and that will be obstacles in the way of their making a surrender to God. While they make large presents to the unbelieving children they make very stinted gifts to those who are of the same faith with themselves. This very fact should startle the men of means who have pursued this course. They should see that the deceitfulness of riches has perverted their judgment. If they could see the influence operating upon their minds they would understand that Satan had these matters very much according to his own purposes and plans. Instead of God’s controlling the mind and sanctifying the judgment, it is controlled by exactly the opposite power. The ones who have been with them in the

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faith they sometimes even neglect, and are frequently very close and exacting in all their deal with them; while they have an open hand to the unbelieving, world-loving children, who they know will not use the means they have placed in their hands, to advance the cause of God. The Lord requires that those to whom He has lent talents of means make a right use of them, having the advancement of His cause prominent. Every other consideration should be inferior to this. {2T 658.2}

The talents of means, be they five, two, or one, are to be improved. Those who have a large amount of means are responsible for a large number of talents. But the comparatively poor men are not released from responsibility. Those who have but little of this world are represented as having one talent. Yet they are in just as great danger of having too great love for that little, and of selfishly retaining it from the cause of God, as are the more wealthy. They do not sense their danger. They apply the stirring reproofs addressed in the word of God to the lovers of this world, to the rich alone, while they themselves may be in even greater danger than the more wealthy. Whether they have much or little, all are required to put their talents out to the exchangers, that when the Master comes He may receive His own with usury. They are also required to maintain a consecration to God and an unselfish interest in His cause and work. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, they are to believe His promise that all things shall be added. In comparison with every other consideration the salvation of the souls of their fellow men should be primary, but this is not generally the case. If there is a neglect anywhere, it is the cause of God that must suffer. God has lent men talents, not to foster their pride, or to excite in them envy, but to be used by them to His glory. He has made these men agents to disperse the means with which to carry forward the work of the salvation of men. Christ has given them an

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example in His life. He left all His heavenly riches and splendor, and for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. It is not the plan of God to rain down means from heaven in order that His cause may be sustained. He has entrusted, or deposited, ample means with men, that there shall be no lack in any department of His work. He proves those who profess to love Him by placing means in their hands, and then tries them to see if they love the gift better than the Giver. God will reveal, in time, the true feelings of the heart. {2T 659.1}

In order to advance the cause of God, means are necessary. God has provided for this necessity by placing an abundance in the hands of His agents to use in any department of the work where it may be required in the labor of saving souls. Every soul saved is a talent gained. If truly converted, the one brought to a knowledge of the truth will, in his turn, use the talents of influence and of means which God has given him, in working for the salvation of his fellow men. He will engage with earnestness in the great work of enlightening those who are in darkness and error. He will be instrumental in saving souls. Thus the talents of influence and means are continually exchanging and constantly increasing. When the Master comes, the faithful servant is prepared to return Him both principal and interest. By his fruits he can show the increase of talents that he has gained to return to the Master. The faithful servant will then have done his work,and the Master, whose reward is with Him to give every man according as his work shall be, will return to that faithful servant both principal and interest. {2T 660.1}

In His word the Lord has plainly revealed His will to those who have riches. But because His direct commands have been slighted, He mercifully presents their dangers before them through the Testimonies. He does not give new light, but

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calls their attention to the light that has already been revealed in His word. If those who profess to love the truth are holding on to their riches and, failing to obey the word of God, do not seek opportunities to do good with that which He has entrusted to them, He will come closer and will scatter their means. He will come near to them with judgments. He will in various ways scatter their idols. Many losses will be sustained. The souls of the selfish shall be unblest. But “the liberal soul shall be made fat.” Those who honor God, He will honor. {2T 660.2}

The Lord made a covenant with Israel that, if they would obey His commandments, He would give them rain in due season, the land should yield her increase, and the trees of the field should yield their fruit. He promised that their threshing should reach unto the vintage and the vintage unto the sowingtime, and that they should eat their bread to the full and dwell in their land safely. He would make their enemies to perish. He would not abhor them, but would walk with them and would be their God, and they should be His people. But if they disregarded His requirements, He would deal with them entirely contrary to all this. His curse should rest upon them in place of His blessing. He would break their pride of power and would make the heavens over them as iron and the earth as brass. “Your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto Me,” “then will I also walk contrary unto you.” {2T 661.1}

Those who are selfishly withholding their means need not be surprised if God’s hand scatters. That which should have been devoted to the advancement of the work and cause of God, but which has been withheld, may be entrusted to a reckless son, and he may squander it. A fine horse, the pride of a vain heart, may be found dead in the stable. Occasionally a cow may die. Losses of fruit or other crops may come. God

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can scatter the means He has lent to His stewards, if they refuse to use it to His glory. Some, I saw, may have none of these losses to remind them of their remissness in duty, but their cases may be the more hopeless. {2T 661.2}

Jesus warned the people: “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” He then addressed His disciples:”Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” {2T 662.1}

These warnings are given for the benefit of all. Will they improve the warnings given? Will they be benefited? Will they regard these striking illustrations of our Saviour and shun the example of the foolish rich man? He had an abundance; so have many who profess to believe the truth, and they are acting over the case of the poor, foolish rich man. Oh, that they would be wise and feel the obligations resting upon them to use the blessings that God has given them in blessing others, instead of turning t hem into a curse. God will say to all such, as to the foolish rich man: “Thou fool.” {2T 662.2}

Men act as though they were bereft of their reason. They are buried up in the cares of this life. They have no time to

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devote to God, no time to serve Him. Work, work, work, is the order of the day. All about them are required to labor upon the high-pressure plan, to take care of large farms. To tear down and build greater is their ambition, that they may have wherewith to bestow their goods. Yet these very men who are weighed down with their riches pass for Christ’s followers. They have the name of believing that Christ is soon to come, that the end of all things is at hand; yet they have no spirit of sacrifice. They are plunging deeper and deeper into the world. They allow themselves but little time to study the word of life and to meditate and pray. Neither do they give others in their family, or those who serve them, this privilege. Yet these men profess to believe that this world is not their home, that they are merely pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, preparing to move to a better country. The example and influence of all such is a curse to the cause of God. Hollow hypocrisy characterizes their professed Christian lives. They love God and the truth just as much as their works show, and no more. A man will act out all the faith he has. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The heart is where the treasure is. Their treasure is upon this earth, and their hearts and interests are also here. {2T 662.3}

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” When those who profess the faith show their lives to be consistent with their faith, then we shall see a power attending the presentation of the truth, a power that will convict the sinner and draw souls nigh to Christ. {2T 663.1}

A consistent faith is rare among rich men. Genuine faith, sustained by works, is seldom found. But all who possess this faith will be men who will not lack influence. They will copy after Christ; they will possess that disinterested benevolence,

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that interest in the work of saving souls, that He had. The followers of Christ should value souls as He valued them. Their sympathies should be with the work of their dear Redeemer, and they should labor to save the purchase of His blood, at any sacrifice. What are money, houses, and lands in comparison with even one soul? {2T 663.2}

Christ made a full and complete sacrifice, a sacrifice sufficient to save every son and daughter of Adam who should show repentance toward God for having transgressed His law, and manifest faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet notwithstanding the sacrifice was ample, but few consent to a life of obedience that they may have this great salvation. Few are willing to imitate His amazing privations, to endure His sufferings and persecutions, and to share His exhausting labor to bring others to the light. But few will follow His example in earnest, frequent prayer to God for strength to endure the trials of this life and perform its daily duties. Christ is the Captain of our salvation, and by His own sufferings and sacrifice He has given an example to all His followers that watchfulness and prayer, and persevering effort, were necessary on their part if they would rightly represent the love which dwelt in His bosom for the fallen race. {2T 664.1}

Men of property are dying spiritually because of their neglect to use the means God has placed in their hands to aid in saving their fellow men. Some become aroused at times and resolve that they will make to themselves friends with the unrighteous mammon, that they may finally be received into everlasting habitations. But their efforts in this direction are not thorough. They commence, but, not being heartily and thoroughly in earnest in the work, they make a failure. They are not rich in good works. While lingeringly retaining their love and grasp of their earthly treasures, Satan outgenerals them. {2T 664.2}

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A flattering prospect may be presented to invest in patent rights or some other supposed brilliant enterprise around which Satan throws a bewitching enchantment. The prospect of getting more money, fast and easily, allures them. They reason that, although they had resolved to put this money into the treasury of God, they will use it in this instance, and will greatly increase it, and will then give a larger sum to the cause. They can see no possibility of a failure. Away goes the means out of their hands, and they soon learn, to their regret, that they have made a mistake. The brilliant prospects have faded. Their expectations are not realized. They were deceived. Satan outgeneraled them. He was more shrewd than they, and he managed to get their means into his ranks and thus deprive the cause of God of that which should have been used to sustain it in extending the truth and saving souls for whom Christ died. They lost all they had invested, and robbed God of that which they should have rendered to Him. {2T 665.1}

Some who have been entrusted with only one talent excuse themselves because they have not as large a number of talents as those to whom are entrusted many talents. Like the unfaithful steward they hide the one talent in the earth. They are afraid to render to God that which He has entrusted to them. They engage in worldly enterprises, but invest little, if anything, in the cause of God. They expect that those who have large talents will bear the burden of the work, while they feel that they are not responsible for its advancement and success. {2T 665.2}

When the master comes to reckon with his servants, the unwise servants will acknowledge with confusion: “I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed; and I was afraid [Afraid of what? That the lord would claim some portion of the small talent entrusted to them], and went

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and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” His lord will answer: “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed; thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming, I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” {2T 665.3}

Many who have but little of this world are represented by the man with one talent. They are afraid to trust God. They are afraid that He will require something which they claim to be their own. They hide their talent in the earth, fearing to invest it anywhere, lest they will be called to give back the improvements to God. Instead of putting the talent out to the exchangers, as God required, they bury it, or hide it, where neither God nor man can be benefited by it. Many who profess to love the truth are doing this very work. They are deceiving their own souls, for Satan has blinded their eyes. In robbing God, they have robbed themselves more. Because of covetousness and an evil heart of unbelief, they have deprived themselves of the heavenly treasure. Because they have but one talent, they are afraid to trust it with God, and so hide it in the earth. They feel relieved of responsibility. They love to see the truth progress, but do not think that they are called upon to practice self-denial and aid the work by their own individual effort and by their means, although they have not a large amount. {2T 666.1}

All should do something. The case of the widow who cast in her two mites is placed upon record for the benefit of others. Christ commended her for the sacrifice she made and called

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the attention of His disciples to the act: “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Christ esteemed her gift more valuable than the large offerings of the most wealthy. They gave of their abundance. They would not feel the least privation because of their offerings. But the widow had deprived herself of even the necessaries of life to make her little offering. She could not see how her future wants were to be supplied. She had no husband to support her in want. She trusted God for the morrow. The value of the gift is not estimated so much by the amount that is given as by the proportion and by the motive which prompts the gift. When Christ shall come, whose reward is with Him, He will give every man according as his work shall be. {2T 666.2}

All, both high and low, rich and poor, have been entrusted by the Master with talents; some more, some less, according to their several ability. The blessing of God will rest upon the earnest, loving, diligent workers. Their investment will be successful and will secure souls to the kingdom of God and an immortal treasure to themselves. All are moral agents, and all are entrusted with the goods of heaven. The talents are proportioned according to the capabilities possessed by each. {2T 667.1}

God gives to every man his work, and He expects returns according to the various trusts bestowed. He does not require the increase of ten talents from the man to whom He has given only one talent. He does not expect the man of poverty to give alms as the man who has riches. He does not expect of the feeble and suffering the activity and strength which the healthy man has. The one talent, used to the best account, God will accept, “according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” {2T 667.2}

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God calls us servants, which implies that we are employed by Him to do a certain work and bear certain responsibilities. He has lent us capital for investment. It is not our property, and we displease God if we hoard up our Lord’s goods or spend them as we please. We are responsible for the use or abuse of that which God has thus lent us. If this capital which the Lord has placed in our hands lies dormant, or we bury it in the earth, even if it is only one talent, we shall be called to an account by the Master. He requires, not ours, but His own with usury. {2T 668.1}

Every talent which returns to the Master will be scrutinized. The doings and trusts of God’s servants will not be considered an unimportant matter. Every individual will be dealt with personally and will be required to give an account of the talents entrusted to him, whether he has improved or abused them. The reward bestowed will be proportionate to the improvement of the talents. The punishment awarded will be according as the talents have been abused. {2T 668.2}

The inquiry of each one should be: What have I of my Lord’s, and how shall I use it to His glory? “Occupy,” says Christ, “till I come.” The heavenly Master is on His journey. Our gracious opportunity is now. The talents are in our hands. Shall we use them to God’s glory, or shall we abuse them? We may trade with them today, but tomorrow our probation may end and our account be forever fixed. {2T 668.3}

If our talents are invested for the salvation of our fellow men, God will be glorified. Pride and position are made apologies for extravagance, vain show, ambition, and profligate selfishness. The Lord’s talents, lent to man as a precious blessing, will, if abused, reflect upon him a terrible curse. Riches may be used by us to advance the cause of God and to relieve the wants of the widow and the fatherless. In so doing, we gather to ourselves rich blessings. Not only shall we receive expressions of gratitude from the recipients of our

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bounties, but the Lord Himself, who has placed the means in our hands for this very purpose, will make our souls like a watered garden whose waters fail not. When the reaping time shall come, who of us will have the inexpressible joy of seeing the sheaves we have gathered, as a recompense of our fidelity and our unselfish use of the talents the Lord has placed in our hands to use for His glory? {2T 668.4}

With many in Vermont there has been a decided failure to come up to the requirements of God. Some have fallen into a cold and lifeless condition spiritually because they are unfaithful servants. The love of the world has so filled their hearts that they have lost their relish for heavenly things and have become dwarfs in spiritual attainments. The state has been deprived of the right kind of labor. Bordoville has been the center of attraction. All the large gatherings have been held in one locality, which has been like putting light under a bushel; its rays have not benefited the people of the state at large. Many are still in darkness who might now be rejoicing in the knowledge of the truth. The talents and special efforts have been drawn to one locality. This is not as the Lord would have it. He designs that the warning, testing message should be given to the world, and that His people, who are the light of the world, should be scattered as witnesses amid the moral darkness of the world; that their lives, their testimony, and their example may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. {2T 669.1}

The Brethren D will need to be guarded, that they do not thwart the purposes of God by plans of their own. They are in danger of narrowing down the work of God, which is deep and extended. {2T 669.2}

Brother D will be in danger of taking too narrow views of the work. God has given him an experience which will be of value if he makes the right use of it. But there is danger that his peculiarities will shape that experience and that other

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minds will become affected. Brother D’s usefulness as a laborer is not what it otherwise would be if he were not so prone to concentrate the strength of his mind upon one idea. He dwells upon incidents and upon thoughts that he has had, and repeats them at length, when they are unimportant to others. {2T 669.3}

His mind was aroused in reference to the subject of his health. He concentrated the strength of his mind on this point. He and his symptoms were the principal subjects of conversation. He was particular to go through with the course he had established in his mind; and, when seeking his own accommodation, he failed to consider how inconvenient he made it for others. His mind has been, to a great extent, shut up to his own case. This was the burden of his thoughts and the theme of his conversation. In this precise, systematic course he has failed to receive the benefit, in point of health, that he might have realized if he had been more forgetful of himself and, from day to day, engaged in physical exercise, which would have diverted his mind from himself . {2T 670.1}

The same deficiencies have marked his labor in the gospel field. In speaking to the people, he has many apologies to make and many preliminaries to repeat, and the congregation become wearied before he reaches his real subject. As far as possible, ministers should avoid apologies and preliminaries. {2T 670.2}

Brother D is too specific. He dwells upon minutiae. He takes time to explain points which are really unimportant and would be taken for granted without producing proof, for they are self-evident. But the real, vital points should be made as forcible a s language and proof can make them. They should stand forth as prominent as mileposts. He should avoid many words over little particulars, which will weary the hearer before the important points are reached. {2T 670.3}

Brother D has large concentrativeness. When he gets his mind in a certain direction, it is difficult for him to place it

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anywhere else; he lingers tediously upon one point. In conversation he is in danger of wearying the listener. His writings lack a free, easy style. The habit of concentrating the mind upon one thing, to the exclusion of other things, is a misfortune. This should be understood by him, and he should labor to restrain and control this power of the mind, which is too active. Too great activity of one organ of the mind strengthens that organ to the enfeebling of other organs. If Brother D would make a successful laborer in the gospel field, he should educate his mind. The large development of this organ impairs his health and his usefulness. There is a lack of harmony in the organization of his mind, and his body suffers in consequence. {2T 670.4}

It would be greatly for the interest of Brother D to cultivate simplicity and ease in his writings. He needs to avoid dwelling at length upon any point that is not of vital importance; and even the most essential, manifest truths, those which are of themselves clear and plain, may be so covered up with words as to be made cloudy and indistinct. {2T 671.1}

Brother D may be sound upon all points of present truth and yet not be qualified in every respect to give the reasons of our hope to the French people in writing. He can aid in this work. But the matter should be prepared by more than one or two minds , that it may not bear the stamp of any one’s peculiarities. The truth which was reached and prepared by several minds, and which in God’s time was brought out link after link in a connected chain by the earnest searchers after truth, should be given to the people,and it will be adapted to meet the wants of many. Brevity should be studied in order to interest the reader. Long, wordy articles are an injury to the truth which the writer aims to present. {2T 671.2}

Brother D should have his mind less occupied with himself and talk less of himself. He should keep himself out of sight and, in conversation, avoid making reference to himself

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and making his peculiarities of life a pattern for others to imitate. He should encourage genuine humility. He is in danger of thinking his life and experience superior to that of others. {2T 671.3}

Brother D can be of value to the cause of God if there is a harmony in the character of his labors. If he can see and correct the imperfections of his peculiar organization, which have a tendency to injure his usefulness, God can use him to acceptance . He should avoid lengthy preaching and long prayers. These are no benefit to himself or to others. Long and violent exercise of the vocal organs has irritated his throat and lungs, and injured his general health, more than his precise round of rules for eating and resting have benefited him. One overexertion or strain of the vocal organs may not soon be recovered from, and may cost the life of the speaker. A calm, unhurried, yet earnest, manner of speaking will have a better influence upon a congregation than to let the feelings become excited and control the voice and manners. As far as possible the speaker should preserve the natural tones of the voice. It is the truth presented that affects the heart. If the speaker makes these truths a reality, he will, with the aid of the Spirit of God, be able to impress the hearers with the fact that he is in earnest, without straining the fine organs of the throat or the lungs. {2T 672.1}

Brother D is deeply interested in his domestic life; yet there is danger, in conversation, of his cultivating the habit of concentrating his whole mind upon the things which especially interest him, but which cannot interest or profit others. He tries to maintain a system which, in itself, is correct; but here again it will be seen that those things which are useful of themselves may become wearisome and burdensome by dwelling too much upon them, and by seeking to carry them out under all circumstances. There is danger of neglecting the weightier matters. {2T 672.2}

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The Brethren D should avoid being tedious in their labor. Their influence has been good in the main. Brother D is naturally a good manager in temporal things. His instruction and example in this direction have helped those who were humble enough to be advised. But the jealousy, distrust, rebellion, complaining, and murmuring which have existed in the church have been disheartening. These brethren should guard against being too exacting. {2T 673.1}

In order to perfect Christian character, we should not cultivate merely a life of quiet, prayerful abstraction, nor a life of all outward zeal and busy excitement, while personal piety is neglected. But the present time requires us to be waiting for the coming of the Lord and vigilantly working for the salvation of our fellow men. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” God will not accept the most exalted services unless they are first consecrated by the surrender of the soul to Him and His love. With a certain class of minds there is danger of systematizing away the Spirit of God and the vitality of the religion of Christ, and preserving an exact round of wearisome duties and ceremonies. {2T 673.2}

We are living in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and our nice and exact plans cannot always be carried out to the advantage of all. If we stand back upon our dignity we shall fail to help those who need help the most. The servants of Christ should accommodate themselves to the varied conditions of the people. They cannot carry out exact rules if they meet the cases of all. Labor will have to be varied to meet the people where they are. “Of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” {2T 673.3}

The apostle counsels his Corinthian brethren: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the

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glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33. “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” 1 Corinthians 9:19. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Verse 22. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me.” Romans 15:1-3. {2T 673.4}

Brother and Sister L of Canada have been gradually losing their hold on God and their love for heavenly and divine things as they have been more earnestly grasping for worldly treasures. They have been relaxing their hold on heaven and fastening it mo re firmly on this world. A few years ago they loved to have an interest in the advancement of the truth and work of God. More recently their love for gain has increased, and they have not felt interested to do their part to save their fellow men. Self-denial and benevolence for Christ’s sake have not characterized their lives. They have done but little for the cause of God. What have they been doing with their talents? They have been burying them in the earth, investing them in lands. They have not been put ting them out to the exchangers, that when the Master comes, He may receive His own with usury. {2T 674.1}

They have a work to do to set their hearts and house in order, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Their hearts have been upon the things of this life, and eternal considerations have been made secondary. They should work earnestly to get the love of the world out of their hearts and

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should place their affections upon things above, not upon things on the earth. If God’s servants would bear in mind that their work is to do all in their power, with their influence and their means, to save souls for whom Christ died, there would be more unselfish effort, and unbelievers would be stirred; they would be convinced that there is a reality in the truth thus presented and thus backed up by example. {2T 674.2}

Brother and Sister L should have confidence in the work for these last days and should be perfecting Christian character, that they may receive the eternal reward when Jesus comes. Brother L is failing in physical and mental vigor. He is becoming incapable of bearing much responsibility. He should counsel with his brethren who are discreet and faithful. {2T 675.1}

Brother L is a steward of God. He has been entrusted with means and should be awake to his duty and render to God the things that are God’s. He should not fail to understand the claims that God has upon him. While he lives, and has his reasoning powers, he should improve the opportunity of appropriating the property that God has entrusted to him, instead of leaving it for others to use and appropriate after the close of his life. {2T 675.2}

Satan is ever ready to take advantage of the weaknesses and infirmities of men to suit his own purposes. He is a wily adversary, and has outgeneraled many whose purposes were good to benefit the cause of God with their means. Some have neglected the work that God has given them to do in appropriating their means. And while they are negligent in securing to the cause of God the means that He has lent them, Satan comes in and turns that means into his own ranks. {2T 675.3}

Brother L should move more cautiously. Men who are not of our faith obtain means of him upon various pretenses. He trusts them, believing them to be honest. It will be impossible for him to get back all the means he has let slip out of his hands into the enemy’s ranks. He could make a safe investment

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of his means by aiding the cause of God and thus laying up for himself treasures in heaven. Frequently he is unable to help when he would because he is crippled and cannot command the means to do so. When the Lord calls for his means, it is frequently in the hands of those to whom he has lent it, some of whom never design to pay, and others feel no anxiety in the matter. Satan will accomplish his purpose as thoroughly through dishonest borrowers as in any other way. All that the adversary of truth and righteousness is working for is to prevent the advancement of our Redeemer’s kingdom. He works through agents to carry out his purposes. If he can prevent means from going into the treasury of God he is successful in one branch of his work. That means which should have been used to aid in the great plan of saving souls he has retained in his ranks to aid him in his work. {2T 675.4}

Brother L should have his business all straight and not left at loose ends. It is his privilege to be rich in good works, and to lay up for himself a good foundation against the time to come, that he may lay hold on eternal life. It is not safe for hi m to follow his failing judgment. He should counsel with experienced brethren, and seek wisdom of God, that he may do up his work well. He should now be really in earnest, providing himself “bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not.” {2T 676.1}

Brother M has made a mistake in his domestic life. He has not, in words, expressed that affection for his wife that it was his duty to express. He has failed to cultivate true Christian courtesy and politeness. He has failed to be at all times as kind and considerate of her wishes and comfort as was his duty. Her not uniting in faith with him has led to much unhappiness for both. Brother M has not respected his wife’s judgment and counsel as he should. In many respects her judgment and discernment are better than his. If consulted, she

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could, by her clearer perception and keener discernment, help him essentially in his business matters, in dealing with his neighbors. He should not stand back upon his dignity, feeling that he understands it all himself. If he would be advised by his wife, and by his kindly actions would show a regard for her, and a desire to please her, he would be doing nothing less than his duty. If her advice conflicts with his duty to God and His claims upon him, then he can choose to differ, and in the most quiet manner possible give as his reason that he cannot sacrifice his faith or his principles. It would be for Brother M’s interest in temporal matters to have his wife’s judgment and counsel. {2T 676.2}

While he is harsh, rough, and unaccommodating, he can have no influence to win his wife to the truth. He should reform. He needs to become softened, to be tender, gentle, and loving. He should let the sunshine of cheerfulness and happy contentment into his heart, and then let its beams shine into his family. He has brought into his family those whose influence would prove a curse to his wife rather than a blessing. In so doing, he has brought burdens upon her that might have been avoided. She should be consulted, and her wishes regarded, as far as possible without compromising his faith. {2T 677.1}

Brother M has chosen his own way, and has had a set will, savoring of stubbornness. He has frequently been unyielding. This should not be. He professes to believe a truth which has a sanctifying, softening, refining influence; his wife does not. He should show that the truth is exerting a power over his perverse nature, that it makes him patient, kind, forbearing, tender, affectionate, forgiving. The best way for Brother M to be a living missionary in his family is for him to exemplify in his life the life of our dear Redeemer. {2T 677.2}

Chap. 80 – No Probation After Christ Comes

Brother O: While I am writing out the dangers of others, your case presses upon my mind. For several months I have been seeking an opportunity to write to you and to others; but constant labor has hindered me from writing out all the testimonies given me for individuals. {2T 686.3}

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Your case has frequently burdened my mind, but I have not felt clear to write to you. I have written out very many testimonies which have been given for others, some of which, in many particulars, would apply to you. The object of publishing the testimonies is that those who are not singled out personally, yet who are as much in fault as those who are reproved, may be warned through the reproofs given to others. I thought it would not be my duty to address you personally. Yet, as I write out individual testimonies to those who are in danger of neglecting their duty to the cause of God, and thus of sustaining an injury, a loss, to their own souls, I do not feel clear to leave your case without writing to you. {2T 687.1}

The last view given me was above two years ago. I was then directed to bring out general principles, in speaking and in writing, and at the same time specify the dangers, errors, and sins of some individuals, that all might be warned, reproved, and counseled. I saw that all should search their own hearts and lives closely to see if they had not made the same mistakes for which others were corrected and if the warnings given for others did not apply to their own cases. If so, they should feel that the counsel and reproofs were given especially for them and should make as practical an application of them as though they were especially addressed to themselves. {2T 687.2}

Those who have a natural love for the world and have been remiss in their duty can see their own faults specified in the cases of others who have been reproved. God designs to test the faith of all who claim to be followers of Christ. He will test the sincerity of the prayers of all those who claim to earnestly desire to know their duty. He will make duty plain. He will give all an ample opportunity to develop what is in their hearts. The conflict will be close between self and the grace of God. Self will strive for the mastery and will be opposed to the work of bringing the life and thoughts, the will

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and affections, into subjection to the will of Christ. Self-denial and the cross stand all along in the pathway to eternal life, and, because of this, “few there be that find it.” {2T 687.3}

God is testing the characters of all. He is proving their love for His cause and for the promulgation of the truth which they profess to consider of inestimable value. The Searcher of hearts is judging, by the fruits they bear, who are truly followers of Christ; who, like their divine Pattern, will renounce the honors and treasures of the world, and consent to be of no reputation, preferring the favor of God and the cross of Christ, that they may, in the end, secure the true riches, the treasure laid up in heaven, the recompense of reward–eternal glory. {2T 688.1}

Those who do not really wish to know themselves will allow the reproofs and warnings to pass to others, and will not discern that their own cases are met, their errors and dangers pointed out. Earthly, selfish motives blind the mind and so operate upon the soul that it cannot be renewed in the divine image. Those who do not, by their own perverse natures, resist His will, will not be left in darkness, but will be renewed in knowledge and true holiness, and will even glory in the cross of Christ. {2T 688.2}

I have been shown that, at the right time, God would press the burden upon me to say to individuals, as Nathan said to David: “Thou art the man.” Many apparently believe the testimonies borne to others and, like David, give judgment in reference to them, when they should be closely searching their own hearts, analyzing their own lives, and making a practical application of the close reproofs and warnings given to others. {2T 688.3}

Brother O, I have been shown that your affections are more upon your earthly treasure than you are sensible of. You have been confused in your perceptions of duty. And when the Spirit of God operates upon your mind and would lead you

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to do what is according to the will and requirements of God, other influences that are not in harmony with the work of God for this time hinder you from obeying the promptings of the divine will; the result is, your faith is not made perfect by works. Your affections should be withdrawn from your earthly treasure. At times when, contrary to your wishes and calculations, means was passing from you into the enemy’s ranks, and was thus lost to the cause of God, you have seemed much perplexed and troubled. Talents of means have been entrusted to you by the Master for you to improve to His glory. You are His steward and should be very cautious lest you neglect your duty. You are naturally a world-loving man and will be inclined to claim as your own the talents of means committed to your care. But, “Give an account of thy stewardship” will be heard by you by and by. {2T 688.4}

The children of God are wise when they trust in that wisdom alone which comes from above, and when they have no strength but that which is from God. Separation from the friendship and spirit of the world is needful for us if we would be united to the Lord and abide in him. Our strength and our prosperity consist in our being connected with the Lord, chosen and accepted of Him. There can be no union between light and darkness. God intends that His people shall be a peculiar people, separate from the world, and be living examples of holiness, that the world may be enlightened, convicted, or condemned, according as they treat the light given them. The truth that has been brought before the understanding, the light that has shone upon the soul, will judge and condemn if it be neglected or turned from. {2T 689.1}

In this degenerate age, error and darkness are preferred rather than light and truth. The works of many of Christ’s professed followers will not bear the test when examined by the light that now shines upon them. For this cause, many

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do not come to the light lest it shall be made manifest that their works are not wrought in God. Light discovers, makes manifest, the evil hidden under darkness. Men of the world and men who are Christ’s servants indeed may be alike in outward appearance; but they are servants of two masters whose interests are in decided opposition to each other. The world does not understand or discern the difference; but there is an immense distance, a vast, separation, between them. {2T 689.2}

Says Christ: “Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” The true followers of Christ cannot enjoy the friendship of the world and at the same time have their life hid with Christ. The affections must be withdrawn from the treasures of earth and transferred to the heavenly treasure. How difficult was it for the young man who had great possessions to withdraw his affections from his worldly treasure, even with the promise of eternal life before him as his reward! {2T 690.1}

When all that we have and are is not consecrated to God, selfish interests close our eyes to the importance of the work, and the means that God calls for is withheld. But He who has lent us this means for the advancement of His cause will frequently withdraw His prospering hand and in some way scatter the means thus withheld, and it will be lost to its possessor and lost to the cause of God. It is not preserved in this world or in the world to come. God is robbed, and Satan triumphs. The Lord would have you closely search your own heart, Brother O, and get the love of the world out of it. Die to self, and live unto God. Then will you be of that number who are the light of the world. {2T 690.2}

I have been shown that you were cherishing erroneous views in regard to the future, views savoring of the pernicious sentiments of the Age-to-come. You sometimes talk out these ideas to others. But they are not in harmony with the body.

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You do not make a right application of Scripture. When Jesus rises up in the most holy place, and lays off His mediatorial garments, and clothes Himself with the garments of vengeance in place of the priestly attire, the work for sinners will be done. The period of time will then have come when the mandate will go forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: . . . and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” {2T 690.3}

God has given His word for all to investigate, that they may learn the way to life. None need err if they will submit to the conditions of salvation laid down in the word of God. Probation is granted to all, that all may form characters for eternal life. An opportunity will be given to all to decide for life or death. Men will be judged according to the measure of light given them. None will be accountable for their darkness and their errors if the light has not been brought to them. They have not sinned in not accepting what has not been given them. All will be tested before Jesus leaves His position in the most holy place. The probation of all closes when the pleading for sinners is ended and the garments of vengeance are put on. {2T 691.1}

Many entertain the view that probation is granted after Jesus leaves His work as mediator in the most holy apartment. This is the sophistry of Satan. God tests and proves the world by the light which He is pleased to give them previous to the coming o f Christ. Characters are then formed for life or death. But the probation of those who choose to live a life of sin, and neglect the great salvation offered, closes when Christ’s ministration ceases just previous to His appearing in the clouds of heaven. {2T 691.2}

Those who love the world, and whose minds are carnal

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and at enmity with God, will flatter themselves that a period of probation will be granted after Christ appears in the clouds of heaven. The carnal heart, which is so averse to submission and obedience, will be deceived with this pleasing view. Many will remain in carnal security and continue in rebellion against God, flattering themselves that there is then to be a period for repentance of sin and an opportunity for them to accept the truth which now is unpopular and crossing to their natural inclination and desires. When they have nothing to venture, nothing to lose, by yielding obedience to Christ and the truth, they think they will take their chance for salvation. {2T 691.3}

There are in the Scriptures some things which are hard to be understood and which, according to the language of Peter, the unlearned and unstable wrest unto their own destruction. We may not, in this life, be able to explain the meaning of every passage of Scripture; but there are no vital points of practical truth that will be clouded in mystery. When the time shall come, in the providence of God, for the world to be tested upon the truth for that time, minds will be exercised by His Spirit to search the Scriptures, even with fasting and with prayer, until link after link is searched out and united in a perfect chain. Every fact which immediately concerns the salvation of souls will be made so clear that none need err or walk in darkness. {2T 692.1}

As we have followed down the chain of prophecy, revealed truth for our time has been clearly seen and explained. We are accountable for the privileges that we enjoy and for the light that shines upon our pathway. Those who lived in past generations were accountable for the light which was permitted to shine upon them. Their minds were exercised in regard to different points of Scripture which tested them. But they did not understand the truths which we do. They were not responsible for the light which they did not have. They had the Bible, as we have; but the time for the unfolding

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of special truth in relation to the closing scenes of this earth’s history is during the last generations that shall live upon the earth. {2T 692.2}

Special truths have been adapted to the conditions of the generations as they have existed. The present truth, which is a test to the people of this generation, was not a test to the people of generations far back. If the light which now shines upon us in regard to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment had been given to the generations in the past, God would have held them accountable for that light. {2T 693.1}

When the temple of God was opened in heaven, John saw in holy vision a class of people whose attention was arrested and who were looking with reverential awe at the ark, which contained the law of God. The special test upon the fourth commandment did not come until after the temple of God was opened in heaven. {2T 693.2}

Those who died before the light was given upon the law of God and the claims of the fourth commandment were not guilty of the sin of violating the seventh-day Sabbath.The wisdom and mercy of God in dispensing light and knowledge at the proper time, a s the people need it, is unsearchable. Previous to His coming to judge the world in righteousness, He sends forth a warning to arouse the people and call their attention to their neglect of the fourth commandment, that they may be enlightened, and may repent of their transgression of His law, and prove their allegiance to the great Lawgiver. He has made provision that all may be holy and happy if they choose. Sufficient light has been given to this generation, that we may learn what our duties and privileges are, and enjoy the precious and solemn truths in their simplicity and power.{2T 693.3}

We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus are testing us. If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us, and bless us as His own chosen peculiar people. When

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perfect faith and perfect love and obedience abound, working in the hearts of those who are Christ’s followers, they will have a powerful influence. Light will emanate from them, dispelling the darkness around them, refining and elevating all who come within the sphere of their influence, and bringing to a knowledge of the truth all who are willing to be enlightened and to follow in the humble path of obedience. {2T 693.4}

Those who possess the carnal mind cannot comprehend the sacred force of vital truth upon which their salvation depends, because they cherish pride of heart, love of the world, love of ease, selfishness, covetousness, envy, jealousy, lust, hatred, and every evil. If they would overcome these they might be partakers of the divine nature. Many leave the plain truths of God’s word and neglect to follow the light that shines clearly upon their pathway; they try to pry into secrets not plainly revealed and conjecture and talk and dispute in regard to questions which they are not required to understand, for they have no special reference to their salvation. Thousands have been beguiled in this way by Satan. They have neglected present faith and present duty which are clear and comprehensive to all who have their reasoning powers; they have dwelt upon doubtful theories and scriptures which they could not comprehend, and have erred concerning the faith; they have a mixed faith. {2T 694.1}

God would have all make a practical use of the plain teachings of His word in regard to the salvation of man. If they are doers of the word, which is plain and powerful in its simplicity, they will not fail to perfect Christian character. They will be sanctified through the truth, and through humble obedience to it will secure everlasting life. God wants servants that are true, not only in word, but in deed. Their fruits will show the genuineness of their faith. {2T 694.2}

Brother O, you will be subject to Satan’s temptations if you continue to cherish your erroneous views. Your faith will be

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a mixed faith, and you will be in danger of confusing the minds of others. God requires His people to be a unit. Your peculiar views will prove an injury to your influence; and if you continue to cherish them and talk them, they will finally serve to separate you from your brethren. If God has light which is necessary for the salvation of His people, He will give it to them as He has given other great and important truths. Here you should let the matter rest. Let God work in His own way to accomplish His purposes in His own time and manner. May God enable you to walk in the light as He is in the light.{2T 694.3}

Chap. 81 – Accountability for Light Received

I have been shown the case of Brother P. He had been standing for some time resisting the truth. His sin was not that he did not receive that which he sincerely believed to be error, but that he did not investigate diligently and gain a knowledge of what he was opposing. He took it for granted that Sabbathkeeping Adventists, as a body, were in error. This view was in harmony with his feelings, and he did not see the necessity of finding out for himself by diligently searching the Scriptures with earnest prayer. Had he pursued this course he might now have been far in advance of his present position. He has been too slow to receive evidence and too neglectful in searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so. Paul did not consider those worthy of commendation who resisted his teachings as long as they could until compelled by overwhelming evidence to decide in favor of the doctrine which he taught and which he had received of God. {2T 695.1}

Paul and Silas labored in the synagogue of the Jews at Thessalonica with some success; but the unbelieving Jews were greatly dissatisfied, and created a disturbance, and made

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a great uproar against them. These devoted apostles were obliged to leave Thessalonica under the cover of night and go to Berea. where they were gladly welcomed. They speak in commendation of the Bereans thus: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed.” {2T 695.2}

Brother P has failed to see the vital importance of the question. He has not felt the burden pressing him to search diligently, independent of any man, to find out what is truth. He has thought too much of Elder P, and has not felt the necessity of learning of One who is meek and lowly of heart. He has not been teachable, but self-confident. Our Saviour has no words of commendation for those who are slow of heart to believe in these last days, any more than He had for doubting Thomas, who boasted that he would not believe upon the evidence which the disciples rehearsed, and which they credited, that Christ had indeed risen and appeared to them. Said Thomas: “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails,” “and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Christ granted Thomas the evidence that he had declared he must have; but He reprovingly said to him: “Be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas acknowledged himself convinced. Jesus said unto him: “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” {2T 696.1}

Brother P’s position has made him a weak man. He remained for quite a length of time warring against nearly everything but the Sabbath. At the same time he was fellowshiping commandment breakers, being still claimed by the Adventists who were in bitter opposition to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. He was in no condition to help them because he was in a state of indecision himself. His

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influence has rather confirmed many in their unbelief. With all the help, evidence, and encouragement that he has had, his standing back has displeased the Lord, while it has strengthened the hands of those who were fighting against God by their opposition to the truth. {2T 696.2}

Brother P might now be a strong man possessing influence with God’s people in Maine and esteemed highly in love for his works’ sake. But he inclines to the idea that his backwardness is a special virtue, rather than a sin of which he must repent. He h as been very slow to learn the lessons which God has intended to teach him. He has not been an apt scholar, and has not had a growth and experience in present truth, which would qualify him to bear the weight of responsibility that he might now bear had he diligently improved upon all the light given. I was shown a time when Brother P began to make an effort to subdue himself and restrain his appetite; then he could the more easily be patient. He had been easily excited, passionate, irritable, depressed in spirit. His eating and drinking had very much to do in keeping him in this state. The lower passions bore sway, predominating over the higher powers of the mind. Temperance would do much for Brother P; and more physical exercise and labor is necessary for his health. As he made efforts to control himself, he began to grow, but did not receive that blessing in his efforts to improve that he would have received had they been made at an earlier period. {2T 697.1}

Instead of gathering with Christ into the truth, he too long drew back; he would not advance himself and stood directly in the way of the advancement of others, thus scattering abroad. His influence has stood directly in the way of the progress of the work which God sent His servants to do. {2T 697.2}

Brother P’s ideas of order and organization have been in direct opposition to God’s plan of order. There is order in heaven, and it is to be imitated by those upon earth who are

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heirs of salvation. The nearer mortals attain to the order and arrangement of heaven, the nearer are they brought to that acceptable state before God which will make them subjects of the heavenly kingdom and give them that fitness for translation from earth to heaven which Enoch possessed preparatory to his translation. {2T 697.3}

Brother P should be guarded. There is a lack of order in his organization. He has not been in harmony with that restraint, that care and diligence, which are necessary in order to preserve harmony and union of action. His experience, his education in religious things for years past, has been a great detriment to his dear children and especially to God’s people. The obligations which Heaven has imposed upon a father, and especially upon a minister, he has not realized. A man who has but a feeble sense of his responsibility as a father to encourage and enforce order, discipline, and obedience will fail as a minister and as a shepherd of the flock. The same lack which characterizes his management at home in his family will be seen in a more public capacity in the church of God. Wrongs will exist uncorrected because of the unpleasant results which attend reproof and earnest appeal. {2T 698.1}

A great reform is needed in Brother P’s family. God is not pleased with their present state of disorder, their having their own way, following their own course of action. This condition of things in his family is destined to counteract his influence wherever he is known. It also has the effect to discourage those who have a will to help him in the support of his family. This lack is an injury to the cause. Brother P does not restrain his children. God is not pleased with their disorderly, boisterous ways, their unrefined deportment. All this is the result of, or the curse that follows, the unabridged liberty which Adventists have claimed that it was their blessed privilege to enjoy. Brother and Sister P have desired the salvation of their children, but I saw that God would not work a miracle

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in their conversion while there were duties resting upon the parents of which they have but little sense. God has left a work for these parents to do which they have thrown back upon Him to do for them. When Brother and Sister P feel the burden that they ought to feel for their children, they will unite their efforts to establish order, discipline, and wholesome restraint in their family. {2T 698.2}

Brother P, you have been slothful in bearing the burdens which every father should bear in his family; and, as the result, the burden which has been left for the mother to bear has been very heavy. You have been too willing to excuse yourself from care and burdens at home and abroad. When, in the fear of God, with solemnity of mind in view of the judgment, you resolutely take the burden that Heaven has designed you should take, and when you have done all that you can on your part, then you can pray understandingly, with the Spirit, and in faith, for God to do that work for your children which it is beyond the power of man to perform. {2T 699.1}

Brother P has not made a judicious use of means. Wise judgment has not influenced him as much as have the voices and desires of his children. He does not place the estimate that he should upon the means in his hands and expend it cautiously for the most needful articles, for the very things he must have for comfort and health. The entire family need to improve in this respect. Many things are needed in the family for convenience and comfort. The lack of appreciating order and system in the arrangement of family matters leads to destructiveness and working to great disadvantage. Every member of the family should realize that a responsibility rests upon him individually to do his part in adding to the comfort, order, and regularity of the family. One should not work against another. All should unitedly engage in the good work of encouraging one another; they should exercise gentleness, forbearance, and patience, speak in low, calm tones, shunning

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confusion, and each doing his utmost to lighten the burdens of the mother. Things should no longer be left at loose ends, all excusing themselves from duty, leaving others to do that which they can and should do themselves. These things may be trifles; but when all are put together, they make great disorder and bring down the frown of God. It is the neglect of the littles, the trifles, that poisons life’s happiness. A faithful performance of the littles composes the sum of happiness to be realized in this life. He that is faithful in little is faithful also in much. He that is unfaithful or unjust in small matters will be in greater matters. Each member of the family should understand just the part he is expected to act in union with the others. All, from the child six years old and upward, should understand that it is required of them to bear their share of life’s burdens. {2T 699.2}

There are important lessons for these children to learn, and they can learn them better now than at a later period. God will work for these dear children in union with the wisely directed efforts of their parents and will bring them to become learners in the school of Christ. Jesus would have these children separate from the vanities of the world, leave the pleasures of sin, and choose the path of humble obedience. If they will now heed the gracious invitation, accept Jesus as their Saviour, and follow on to know the Lord, He will cleanse them from their sins and impart to them grace and strength. {2T 700.1}

Dear Brother P, the lessons which you have learned amid the distracting influences that have existed in Maine have been exceedingly injurious to your family. You have not been as circumspect in your conversation as God requires you to be. You have not dwelt upon the truth in your family, diligently teaching its principles and the commandments of God unto your children when you rise up and when you sit down, when

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you go out and when you come in. You have not appreciated your work as a father or as a minister. {2T 700.2}

You have not zealously performed your duty to your children. You have not devoted sufficient time to family prayer, and you have not required the presence of the entire household. The meaning of “husband” is house band. All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues, energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge, and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present, or by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family. {2T 701.1}

The reason why the youth of the present age are not more religiously inclined is that their education is defective. True love is not exercised toward children when they are allowed to indulge passion, or when disobedience of your laws is permitted to go unpunished. As the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined. You love your ease too well. You are not painstaking enough. Constant effort is required, constant watchfulness and earnest, fervent prayer. Keep the mind in a praying mood, uplifted to God; be not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. {2T 701.2}

You have failed in your family to appreciate the sacredness of the Sabbath and to teach it to your children and enjoin upon

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them the importance of keeping it according to the commandment. Your sensibilities are not clear and ready to discern the high standard that we must reach in order to be commandment keepers. But God will assist you in your efforts when you take hold of the work earnestly. You should possess perfect control over yourself; then you can have better success in controlling your children when they are unruly. There is a great work before you to repair past neglects; but you are not required to perform it in your own strength. Ministering angels will aid you in the work. Do not give up the work nor lay aside the burden, but take hold of it with a will and repair your long neglect. You must have higher views of God’s claims upon you in regard to His holy day. Everything that can possibly be done on the six days which God has given to you, should be done. You should not rob God of one hour of holy time. Great blessings are promised to those who place a high estimate upon the Sabbath and realize the obligations resting upon them in regard to its observance: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath [from trampling upon it, setting it at nought], from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” {2T 701.3}

When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do, any manner of our own work for a livelihood, or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. Time can then be

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devoted to making the necessary preparation for the Sabbath and to thinking and conversing about it. Nothing which will in the sight of Heaven be regarded as a violation of the holy Sabbath should be left unsaid or undone, to be said or done upon the Sabbath. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The fourth commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation. {2T 702.1}

Brother P, you should discipline yourself to discern the sacredness of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and should labor to raise the standard in your family and wherever you have, by example, lowered it among God’s people. You should counteract the influence you have cast in this respect, by changing your words and actions. You have frequently failed to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy;” you have often forgotten, and have spoken your own words upon God’s sanctified day. You have been unguarded, and have upon the Sabbath joined with the unconsecrated in conversation upon the common topics of the day, such as gains and losses, stocks, crops, and provisions. In this your example injures your influence. You should reform.{2T 703.1}

Those who are not fully converted to the truth frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and, although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. {2T 703.2}

The example of ministers especially should be circumspect

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in this respect. Upon the Sabbath they should conscientiously restrict themselves to conversation upon religious themes–to present truth, present duty, the Christian’shopes and fears, trials, conflicts, and afflictions; to overcoming at last, and the reward to be received. {2T 703.3}
Ministers of Jesus should stand as reprovers to those who fail to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. They should kindly and solemnly reprove those who engage in worldly conversation upon the Sabbath and at the same time claim to be Sabbathkeepers. They should encourage devotion to God upon His holy day. {2T 704.1}

None should feel at liberty to spend sanctified time in an unprofitable manner. It is displeasing to God for Sabbathkeepers to sleep during much of the Sabbath. They dishonor their Creator in so doing, and, by their example, say that the six days are too precious for them to spend in resting. They must make money, although it be by robbing themselves of needed sleep, which they make up by sleeping away holy time.They then excuse themselves by saying: “The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. I will not deprive myself of rest to attend meeting, for I need rest.” Such make a wrong use of the sanctified day. They should, upon that day especially, interest their families in its observance and assemble at the house of prayer with the few or with the many, a s the case may be. They should devote their time and energies to spiritual exercises, that the divine influence resting upon the Sabbath may attend them through the week. Of all the days in the week, none are so favorable for devotional thoughts and feelings as the Sabbath. {2T 704.2}

All heaven was represented to me as beholding and watching upon the Sabbath those who acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment and are observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and high regard for,

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this divine institution. Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strictly devotional frame of mind, and who sought to improve the sacred hours in keeping the Sabbath to the best of their ability, and to honor God by calling the Sabbath a delight–these the angels were specially blessing with light and health, and special strength was given them. But, on the other hand, the angels were turning from those who failed to appreciate the sacredness of God’s sanctified day, and were removing from them their light and their strength. I saw them overshadowed with a cloud, desponding, and frequently sad. They felt a lack of the Spirit of God. {2T 704.3}

Dear Brother P, you should at all times be circumspect in your conversation. Has God called you to be a representative of Christ upon earth, in His stead beseeching sinners to be reconciled to God? This is a solemn, exalted work. When you cease speaking in the desk, that work is but just begun. You are not released from responsibilities when out of meeting, but should still maintain your consecration to the work of saving souls. You are to be a living epistle, known and read of all men. Ease is not to be consulted. Pleasure is not to be thought of. The salvation of souls is the all-important theme. It is to this work that the minister of the gospel of Christ is called. He must maintain good works out of meeting and adorn his profession by his godly conversation and circumspect deportment. Frequently, after your pulpit labor is over and you are seated with company around the fireside, you have, by your unconsecrated conversation, counteracted your efforts in the pulpit. You must live out what you preach as duty to others, and must take upon yourself, as you never yet have done, the burden of the work, the weight of responsibility which should rest upon every minister of Christ. Confirm the labor bestowed in the desk by following it up with private effort. Engage in judicious conversation upon present

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truth, candidly ascertaining the state of mind of those present, and in the fear of God making a practical application of important truth to the cases of those with whom you are associated. You have failed to be instant in season, out of season, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. {2T 705.1}

As a watchman upon the walls of Zion, constant watchfulness is necessary. Your vigilance must not abate. Educate yourself to be able to appeal to families around the fireside. You can accomplish even more in this direction than by your pulpit labors alone. Watch for souls as one that must give an account. Give no occasion for unbelievers to charge you with remissness in this duty, by neglecting to appeal to them personally. Talk with them faithfully, and beseech them to yield to the truth. “For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life.” As the apostle views the magnitude of the work and the weighty responsibilities resting upon the minister, he exclaims: “And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” {2T 706.1}

Those who corrupt the word, handing out wheat and chaff, or anything that they may deem gospel, while they oppose the commandments of God, cannot appreciate the feelings of the apostle as he trembled under the weight of the solemn work, and of his responsibility as a minister of Christ, having the destiny of souls for whom Christ died resting upon him. In the estimation of self-made ministers it will take but a small pattern to fill the bill and make a minister. But the apostle placed a high estimate upon the qualifications necessary to make a minister. {2T 706.2}

The deportment of a minister while in the desk should be circumspect, not careless. He should not be negligent in regard

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to his attitude. He should possess order and refinement in the highest sense. God requires this of those who accept so responsible a work, that of receiving the words from His mouth and speaking them to the people, warning and reproving, correcting and comforting, as the case may require. God’s representatives upon earth should be in daily communion with Him. Their words should be select, their speech sound. The haphazard words frequently used by ministers who preach not the gospel in sincerity should be forever discarded. {2T 706.3}

I was shown, Brother P, that you were naturally irritable, easily provoked, and that you had lacked patience and forbearance. If your course was questioned, or you were urged to take your position upon the truth, you felt too much that you would not b e hurried. You would not move a step because others desired you to do so. You would take your time. Should your hearers pursue the same course, you would consider them blameworthy. If all should do as you have done, God’s people would require a temporal millennium in which to make the needed preparations for the judgment. God has mercifully borne with your backwardness; but it will not answer for others to follow your example, for you are now weak and deficient where you might be strong and well qualified for the work. {2T 707.1}

Brother R could effect but little for you. His labors were unwisely directed. He erred in especially interesting himself for those who thought they should become teachers. Had he not touched the case of a minister in Maine, and had he labored in new fields where there had been no Adventists, many would have been brought to the knowledge of the truth. Brother S has been advancing slowly and occupying a position more pleasing to God in regard to patience, forbearance, and endurance; and yet there is a much greater work to be done for him before he can make a successful minister in the cause and advance the work of God. {2T 707.2}

Brother R zealously interested himself in your case, but

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you refused to be helped by him. Time and strength were devoted to you; and matters were shaped for your special benefit to remove your prejudice and win you to accept the truth, until your indolence and unbelief exhausted the patience of Brother R. Then the character of his labor changed, and he pressed you to come to a decision and move out upon the light and evidence you had received. This earnest effort on his part you termed crowding and jamming you. Your mulish temperament was manifested; you rose up against this dealing and rejected the efforts he made to help you. Here you injured yourself, disheartened Brother R, and displeased God. Your feelings toward Brother R were not Christian. You gloried in your resistance of his efforts in your behalf. The Lord blessed the labors of Brother R in raising up a people in the State of Maine. This labor was hard and trying, and you did your share in making it so. You did not realize how hard you were making the work for those whom God had sent to present the truth to the people. They were exhausting their energies to bring the people to the point of decision in regard to the truth, while you and others of the ministers stood directly in their way. God was working through His ministers to draw to the truth, and Satan was working through you and other ministers to discourage and counteract their labor. The very men who professed to be watchmen, and who, if they had stood in the counsel of God, would have been the first to receive the word of warning and give it to the people, were among the last to accept the truth. The people were in advance of their teachers. They received the warning even before the watchmen because the watchmen were unfaithful and were sleeping at their post. {2T 707.3}

Brother P, you should have had feelings of brotherly sympathy and love for Brother R, for he deserved this from you rather than one word of censure. You should severely censure

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your own course because you were found fighting against God. But you have amused yourself and others at the expense of Brother R by relating his efforts for you and your resistance of his labors, and have enjoyed a hearty laugh over the matter. {2T 708.1}

It becomes every minister of Christ to use sound speech, which cannot be condemned. I was shown that a solemn work is to be accomplished for the ministers of Christ. This cannot be done without effort on their part. They must feel that they have a work to do in their own cases which no one else can do for them. They must seek to gain the qualifications necessary, in order to become able ministers of Christ, that in the day of God they may stand acquitted, free from the blood of souls, having done all their duty in the fear of God. As their reward, the faithful undershepherds will hear from the Chief Shepherd: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He will then place the crown of glory upon their heads and bid them enter into the joy of their Lord. What is that joy? It is beholding with Christ the redeemed saints, reviewing with Him their travail for souls, their self-denial and self-sacrifice, their giving up of ease, of worldly gain, and every earthly inducement, and choosing the reproach, the suffering, the self-abasement, the wearing labor, and the anguish of spirit as men would oppose the counsel of God against their own souls; it is calling to remembrance the chastening of their souls before God, their weeping between the porch and the altar, and their becoming a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. All this is then ended, and the fruits of their labors are seen; souls are saved through their efforts in Christ. The ministers who have been co-workers with Christ enter into the joy of their Lord and are satisfied. {2T 709.1}

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,

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despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Ministers are too forgetful of the Author of their salvation. They think they endure much, when they bear and suffer but little. God will work for ministers if they will let Him work for them. But if they feel that they are all right and do not need a thorough conversion, and will not see themselves and come up to the measurement of God, He can do better without their labors than with them. {2T 709.2}

God requires ministers to come up to the standard, to show themselves approved unto God, workmen that need not be ashamed. If they refuse this strict discipline, God will release them and select men who will not rest until they are thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Our hearts are naturally sinful, and slothful in the service of Christ; and we need to be guarded constantly, or we shall fail to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ; and we shall not feel the necessity of aiming vigorous blows against besetting sins, but will readily yield to the suggestions of Satan and raise a standard for ourselves rather than accept the pure and elevated standard that God has raised for us.{2T 710.1}

I saw that the Sabbathkeeping ministers of Maine have failed to become Bible students. They have not felt the necessity of a diligent study of the word of God for themselves, that they might be thoroughly furnished unto all good works; neither have they felt the necessity of urging the close searching of the Scriptures upon their hearers. If there had not been one Seventh-day Adventist minister in Maine to oppose the counsel of God, all that has been accomplished might have been done with one half the effort that has been made, and the people might have been brought out of their distracted,

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confused state into order, and now have been strong enough to stand against opposing influences. Many places which have not yet been entered might have been visited and successful labor bestowed, which would have brought many to a knowledge of the truth. {2T 710.2}

Much of the labor which has been spent in Maine has been for Seventh-day Adventist ministers, to bring them into a right position. It has required hard labor to counteract the influence which they exerted while opposing the counsel of God against their own souls and standing in the way of sinners. They would not enter in themselves, and them that would, they hindered by precept and example. A mistake has been made in entering fields where there are Adventists who do not as a general thing feel any necessity of being helped, but who think themselves in a good condition and able to teach others. The laborers are few, and their strength must be spent to the best possible advantage. Much more can be done in the State of Maine, as a general thing, where there is not one Adventist. New fields should be entered; and the time that has hitherto been spent in wearing labor for Adventists who have no wish to learn should be devoted to these new fields, to going out into the highways and hedges, and working for the conversion of unbelievers. If Adventists will come and hear, let them come. Leave the way open for them to come if they choose. {2T 711.1}
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