Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 215

The church at Christiania have not a twentieth part of the influence they might have possessed, if they had rightly improved their opportunities and privileges. Their ideas are altogether too narrow. Each should turn his attention to himself, to make the most of every advantage, that he may become a help and strength to the church. God has committed to them sacred truths, through which they are to be sanctified and to reflect light to the world. They are to show what the truth can do for even coarse, rough stones out of the quarry of the world. What these brethren need is elevation of thought, and refinement of character. They need to make the Bible their guide; the study of God's holy word will strengthen and expand the mind. But they must learn the truth as it is in Jesus, or they might better never have received it. It is not the mere reading of the word that gives light, but the word opened to the understanding and applied to the heart by the Spirit of God.

Importance of the Sabbath

While some have been urging their man-made tests upon the people, the claims of the fourth commandment have been held very lightly. We knew that the blessing of God could not rest upon this church until there was a reformation upon this important point. Those who stand in responsible positions should be careful that their words and example are such as will lead the people to correct views and practices. They should be sure that in no way they belittle the requirements of God. Because the fourth commandment is so widely disregarded, we should be the more earnest and decided in seeking to honor this precept of God's holy law. The third angel's message is that which we are to present to the world. Here God has a test for us, and if we come up to the standard, we shall be a peculiar people. Whoever obeys the fourth commandment will find that a separating line is drawn between him and the world. The Sabbath is a test, not a human requirement, but God's test. It is that which will distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve him not; and upon this point will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error.

Among our people generally in these kingdoms, the Sabbath has not stood in the exalted position where God has placed it. The world is the instrument that sifts the church, and tests the genuineness of its members. The world holds out inducements, that, when accepted, place the believer where his life is not in harmony with his profession. Some of our brethren engaged in business have not kept the Sabbath according to the commandment. Some have been in partnership with unbelievers, and the influence of these Sabbath-breaking associates has had its effect upon them. Some have been so blinded that they could not discern the danger in such connections, but it is only the greater because unperceived. While one partner is professedly observing the Sabbath, the other, with the laborers employed, is carrying on the business of the firm. The Sabbath-keeper, though not outwardly engaged in labor, cannot keep his thoughts from business matters. While he may endeavor to keep the Sabbath, he does not keep it. The Lord looks upon him as a transgressor.

Even in business relations we cannot, without involving principle, connect ourselves with those who are not loyal to God. What the one party feels that conscience forbids, the other allows.

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