Ellen G. White Writings

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Ms 69, 1912

Ms 69, 1912

The Sin and Death of Moses

NP

September 10, 1912 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1102, 1115-1116; 4BC 1146, 1173-1174; 5BC 1134; 10MR 151-160.

Moses was chosen as one who was capable, well trained, and qualified by God to lead the vast army of Israel to the goodly land of Canaan. He was not only a learned man, a mighty warrior, and skilled in warfare, but he had also received an education in the school of affliction. He well understood what poverty was, for he had been for forty years a humble shepherd, caring for the flocks of Jethro in Midian. In the school of adversity God had fitted him to stand at the head of the armies of Israel.

The children of Israel had not traveled to the promised land with joy and gladness. Constantly had they murmured and complained, and their murmurings had entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Because they had not faith in the good things that God had in store for them, they did not have courage to endure the hardness of the way and the trials by which they were proved.

Test on Appetite

Whenever their appetite was restricted, the Israelites were dissatisfied and murmured and complained against Moses and Aaron, and against God. When, on account of their murmurings, God visited His wrath upon them, destroying many of their mighty men, they accused Moses and Aaron, saying, You have brought us out from the land of Egypt into this wilderness that you might kill us and our children and our flocks with hunger and be benefited by our possessions. You have sought to obtain means from us to enrich yourselves.

But God was proving His people. In order to develop what was in their hearts, He allowed them to pass through severe trials. When they failed, He brought them around to the same point again, trying them a little more closely and severely.

Thus it is ever. God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. Thus opportunity after opportunity is placed before them of gaining the victory and proving themselves true to God. But if they continue to manifest rebellion, God is compelled at last to remove His Spirit and light from them.

God brought Israel to the test on the point of appetite. They failed. Their appetites clamored for the rich food that they had used while in Egypt. “Would God,” they cried, “we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full!” Exodus 16:3.

It was God Himself who had arranged for the Israelites to be fed by manna rained down from heaven. Did He not know what food the children of Israel should subsist upon in order to preserve their health in the very best condition? Did not the God, who made man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, know the physical necessities of man?

To satisfy the wants of His people, the Lord gave them bread from heaven. “Man did eat angels’ food.” Psalm 78:25. Yet they were not satisfied. In Egypt their taste had become perverted. God designed to restore their appetite to a pure, healthy state, in order that they might enjoy the simple fruits that were given to Adam and Eve in Eden. He was about to establish them in a second Eden, a goodly land, where they might enjoy the fruits and grains that He would provide for them. He purposed to remove the feverish diet upon which they had subsisted in Egypt; for He wished them to be in perfect health and soundness when they entered the goodly land to which He was leading them, so that the surrounding heathen nations might be constrained to glorify the God of Israel, the God who had done so wonderful a work for His people. Unless the people who acknowledged Him as the God of heaven were in perfect soundness of health, His name could not be glorified.

If the Israelites had submitted to God’s requirements, they would have had a healthy posterity. But they chose to follow their own way, walking after the imagination of their own hearts. They gratified their appetites and consulted their own tastes and wishes. As a result, the wilderness was strewn with their dead bodies. Of all the vast multitude that left Egypt, six hundred thousand mighty men of war, besides women and children, only two entered the promised land.

The Smiting of the Rock

Moses, the servant of God, was wearied and perplexed by the continual murmuring of the Israelites. At times his life was in danger. At one time in particular, because their appetite was restricted, they went so far in rebellion that they said, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Numbers 14:4. In order to quiet their rebellion, God was obliged to slay many of them.

At another time, when they were murmuring and complaining because they had no water, “the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” Numbers 20:7, 8.

Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together as they had been commanded to do. But harassed and perplexed, Moses smote the rock twice, saying, “Must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Vs. 10. Thus he took to himself the glory that belongs alone to God.

In all their wanderings, the children of Israel were tempted to attribute to Moses the special work of God, the mighty miracles that had been wrought to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. They charged Moses with bringing them out of the land of Egypt. It was true that God had manifested Himself wonderfully to Moses. He had specially favored him with His presence. To him God had revealed His exceeding glory. Upon the mount He had taken him into a sacred nearness to Himself and had talked with him as a man speaks to a friend. But the Lord had given evidence after evidence that it was He Himself who was working for their deliverance.

By saying, “Must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Moses virtually said to the people that they were correct in believing that he himself was doing the mighty works that had been done in their behalf. This made it necessary for God to prove to Israel that his admission was not founded on fact. “Because ye believed Me not,” God said to Moses and Aaron, “to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” [Verse 12.] To dispel forever from the minds of the Israelites the idea that a man was leading them, God found it necessary to allow their leader to die before they entered the land of Canaan. And he was instructed to declare to all Israel the reason that he could not enter Canaan.

Thus far in their journeyings, God had forgiven greater transgressions committed by the children of Israel; but this departure from the right on the part of Moses God could not excuse. His purpose was to give His people unmistakable proof that He who had wrought so wonderfully for them in delivering them from Egyptian bondage was the mighty Angel who had been going before them in all their travels—the One concerning whom God had said, “Provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him.” Exodus 23:21. Because He had revealed to Moses all His glory, this transgression was in God’s sight a greater sin than if the leader of Israel had not been favored with so much of the divine presence and excellency and majesty.

Although Satan by his power had led the children of Israel to murmur and rebel, thus causing Moses to deviate from the right path, the God of heaven understood the sufferings that His servant had endured and how he had been provoked by the rebellious people. God knew how to exercise compassion toward His servant. Yet in order to teach a lesson of exact obedience to His commands, without mingling self with the service, God did not permit Moses to enter the land of Canaan.

Another lesson that God designed to teach was that man should never take to himself the glory that belongs to God. God is jealous of His word, His commands, His glory. The power that opened the rock and sent forth pure streams of water was the power of God. The Israelites should have ascribed to God, not to man, the glory for the miracles that He had wrought in their behalf.

God desired that the children of those who fell in the wilderness should never entertain in their minds the idea that Moses had wrought their deliverance. Since Moses had once seemed to admit that it was he himself who had brought them water from the rock, God could not permit him to enter the land of promise. He must die. The penalty that he should suffer was to lead the Israelites to expel forever from their minds the idea that man had been working for them.

God had instructed Moses to talk to the rock, which represented Christ, the living Rock, who was to be smitten once for us. In order to obtain the living water, man must speak to Christ, and those who ask will receive living waters.

In this age men and women have become exalted because of the talents that God has given them. God can do but little for one who exalts self. As soon as God manifests His power for one of the fallen race, how often that one fails of giving Him glory! Such a one takes to himself the glory for the wisdom and the power that God has given to him and forgets to exalt the name of the One who bestowed these blessings.

Moses mourned because of his transgression. Deeply repenting, he pleaded that he might enter the land of Canaan. But God had spoken, and Moses must suffer the penalty of his sin.

The Vision of Moses

After Moses had given final instructions and lessons to the children of Israel, he ascended Mount Nebo. From Pisgah’s summit was revealed to him in panoramic view the land that he was not allowed to enter. Angels of God pointed out every part of the land as it was spread out before his vision. They told him of the fertility of the soil, and that it was well watered. He saw the grain fields and the fruit-laden trees just as they appeared in the promised land. The whole land, in all its richness and beauty, was spread out before him, and he saw that it was a goodly land. The heavenly angels told him that from the beginning to the end of the year God’s watchful care was over the land.

The attention of Moses was called to the various portions of the country where the tribes of Israel would be located. In the midst of the goodly land he saw established the people that through the providence of God he had been leading to the borders of their promised inheritance.

The angels also revealed to Moses that although he mourned because he had sinned and could not enter the promised land, and although he felt that he had caused the children of Israel to sin, yet it was their own sin, their murmuring and complaining spirit, that had led him to deviate from the right and commit a sin that kept him out of the promised land. The angels told him that he was not the greatest sufferer; that he did not feel in his heart the fullest depth of their sin; but that Christ, their invisible leader, was the one against whom they had transgressed. Christ was the one who would bear their iniquities. He it was whom they had offended, not Moses; He it was who suffered the most intensely.

The heavenly messengers also referred to the sacrificial offerings, typifying the crucifixion of Christ, and opened before Moses’ mind the events that should take place in the future. To him was revealed the advent of the Saviour, His birthplace, and the manner in which He should come. He was shown that the Jewish nation, the favored people of God, to whom the Saviour would come to give life and to deliver from a heavy yoke of oppression, would insult Him, deride Him, mock Him, heap every indignity upon Him, and at last take the life of Him who came to impart life to them.

While in bondage to other nations, the Jews had boasted that although they were then in oppression, their Messiah was coming as a mighty King to deliver them. To the heathen nations surrounding them they declared that Christ would come in glory, break their yoke of bondage, fulfil His promises to them, and place them on thrones to reign with Him as kings and priests over the whole world. Such were the boasts they made. Their mistake lay in applying to His first appearing the prophecies that refer to His second coming, and to the earth as it will be when made new and occupied by the redeemed.

When, instead of coming in the pomp and splendor of the mighty kings of the earth, Christ came as a humble man, possessing human nature, how great was their chagrin and disappointment! Surely this was not the man who would deliver them. They would not own Him as their King. He came not among the most honorable or to receive homage as kings of the earth receive homage from the subjects. He came among the poor and the needy. He was found among the oppressed. He relieved the wants of the destitute and stood by the side of the most humble. Thinking that this man could not be the Messiah for whom they looked, they refused to acknowledge Him.

As a nation the Jews had been growing prouder and prouder. They had made great boasts of their righteousness. They made broad their phylacteries, uttered long prayers in the market places, and gave alms to be seen of men. Their religion was formal, consisting of ordinances and purifications, rites and ceremonies. It was not heartfelt. Although they made their religious profession so very prominent, yet they did not scruple to grind the faces of the poor and to take advantage of them in every way possible.

This proud people could not think of acknowledging the lowly Nazarene as their Messiah. They knew that if they should take their position by the side of this humble man, all the surrounding nations would deride them and scoff at them. After having so loudly boasted of how they would be exalted when the Messiah should come, they could not think of recognizing the carpenter’s Son as the Messiah. Satan had blinded their eyes so they knew not what was for their good.

The condition of the Jewish nation at the first advent of Christ was presented to Moses. He had thought that he had a hard time in leading Israel through the wilderness; but he forgot his own sufferings when he caught a glimpse of the life of Christ and saw the suffering that He would endure and the great sacrifice He would make for the salvation of His people.

Moses had made sacrifices. He had been willing to give his own life for the salvation of others, and had even prayed to the Lord to blot his name out of the book of life, rather than destroy the children of Israel, the people whom God had so wonderfully and miraculously delivered. But the Lord would not blot His servant’s name out of His book. “Whosoever hath sinned against Me,” He said, “him will I blot out of My book.” Exodus 32:33. Time and again, through the intercession of Moses, the Lord had spared His disobedient people.

To Moses was revealed the blindness of the Jewish nation. Their continual plea was, “The law! the law! the Father! the Father!” Appealing to the law and to the Father, they rejected their Saviour. “As for this Christ,” they said, “we will have nothing to do with Him. Away with Him!” Him who came to give them life they put to death.

When the view of the crucifixion was presented before Moses, what a scene there must have been on Pisgah’s summit! I have often thought that if I were an artist, I should like to portray the countenance of Moses as he viewed the panoramic scenes passing before him, in which he saw the sufferings of the Angel who had led the Israelites through the wilderness, guiding them in their wandering journey from Egypt to Canaan.

[Page missing here. See Patriarchs and Prophets, 475.]

As Christ stood upon the mount and looked over the holy city, with weeping He exclaimed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:37, 38.

Moses saw the sin of the Jewish nation for whose salvation he had been willing to have his own name blotted out of the book of life. He saw the Son of God bid adieu to the nation, and it seemed now that their destiny was certain; for they had rejected Christ. Surely their house was left unto them desolate. As the angel repeated the words of Christ to Moses, an expression of distress and anguish spread over his countenance. Bitter tears fell from his eyes. He shared the sadness that Christ felt.

That nation which God had declared was a royal nation, a peculiar people, a holy priesthood, Moses heard crying for the blood of Christ. He saw them crucify his Saviour. To him was revealed Christ’s agony as He hung upon the cross. He saw the Saviour lying in Joseph’s new tomb; and looking farther on, he saw Him come forth a majestic conqueror and ascend to heaven with a multitude of captives, the angelic hosts escorting Him on His way.

When he beheld the Saviour’s ascension, and saw that he himself would be one of those who should attend the Saviour and open to Him the everlasting gates, what a change took place in the expression on his face! The joy, the glory, the light that shone from his countenance no language can describe, no pen can picture. Moses was one of those who comforted Christ on the mount of transfiguration.

Then was presented to him a view of the multitude of captives who rose at the time Jesus was raised from the dead and who went into the city and revealed themselves unto many. Notwithstanding the fact that a lie had been put into the mouths of the Roman guard that watched the sepulcher, lest the disciples should come at night and steal away the body of Christ, the raising of these captives to life established the certainty of Christ Himself having risen from the dead. Christ had thus given incontrovertible proof that He was the Son of God. Satan failed in his efforts to conceal the fact that Christ had risen. From that time men have believed that it was the Son of God who was crucified.

Since then it has been Satan’s special effort to separate the Father and the Son. He led the Jews to cry, “The law, the law! the Father, the Father! Away with the Son! We will not acknowledge the Son or have anything to do with Him. We will not recognize the power of God in the mighty miracles He performs, for it is through Satan that He does these works.”

But when multitudes began to believe on the Son, and to receive divine truth from the lips of the disciples of Jesus, Satan saw that he must do something else to counterwork the work that the disciples were doing. So he determined to lead men to reject the Father and His law, as the Jews had rejected Christ. As he had blinded the eyes of the Jewish nation so they were unable to recognize and acknowledge Jesus, the only one who had power to give them life, so he would blind the eyes of the Christian world to the claims of the law, making professed Christians cry, “Christ, Christ! Away with the law!” Because of his deceptions, men would fail of glorifying God by obeying His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth.

The Old Testament, containing the prophecies of the coming of Christ, is now made of small account. The cry now is, “The Christ, the Christ! The gospel, the gospel!” But the gospel is taught all the way through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. The gospel is revealed in all the prophecies of the first advent of Christ as the Saviour of men. Every act of the old dispensation to turn men away from sin or to bring them forgiveness was done with reference to the Saviour who was to come. He was the steppingstone by which man was to be exalted.

As Moses saw this steppingstone despised, and beheld the Jews, blinded by Satan, turning away from their only hope of salvation, and crying, “Away with Christ!” and as he heard the Christian world in the new dispensation, crying, “Away with the Father! Away with the law!” he was filled with astonishment. Do men honor God by despising His law?

As the special work of Satan has been to separate the Father and the Son, he has so blinded the eyes of the Christian world that they now turn from the Father and from His law and dwell wholly upon Christ.

Christ came to die because not a precept of His Father’s law could be altered to excuse man in his fallen condition. As this picture was presented before Moses, again an expression of grief and sadness came over his countenance.

Then he was carried down to the period of time when a view of the heavenly sanctuary should be given to God’s people; when the veil would be parted, and by faith they would enter within the holy of holies. Moses knew something about the sanctuary in heaven; he understood the sacred ministrations connected with the holy place and the most holy. The significance of the typical service in the earthly sanctuary was made light and clear by the reflection of the Sun of righteousness upon the types and symbols.

When Christ, the mediator, burst the bands of the tomb, and ascended on high to minister for man, He first entered the holy place, where, by virtue of His own sacrifice, He made an offering for the sins of men. With intercession and pleadings He presented before God the prayers and repentance and faith of His people, purified by the incense of His own merits. He next entered the most holy place to make an atonement for the sins of the people and cleanse the sanctuary. His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin.

[Page out. See Patriarchs and Prophets, 477.]

With joy Moses saw the law of God still honored and exalted by a faithful few. He saw the last great struggle of earthly powers to destroy those who keep God’s law. He looked forward to the time when God shall arise to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and those who have feared His name shall be covered and hid in the day of His anger. These acknowledge the relation existing between the Father and His law. Only by the merits of Jesus Christ is man exalted and enabled to keep God’s law acceptably.

Again Moses looked and saw the covenant of peace made with God’s commandment-keeping people when He spoke from His holy habitation, shaking the heavens and the earth by His voice. Moses saw that God is the hope of His people, while the despisers of the law, those who had crucified Jesus Christ afresh, bowed and groveled at the feet of the saints in fear of God’s voice. He saw the countenances of the saints lighted up with glory, and beaming upon those around them as the faces of himself and those who were with him shone when the law was given on Mount Sinai. The commandment-keepers, those who had honored the law, were glorified. At the appearing of Christ in splendor and glory, they were translated to heaven without seeing death, rising with songs of triumph to enter through the gates into the city, into the land of Eden.

After man’s fall, Eden had been caught up from the earth; for God would not suffer it to feel the marks of the curse. He preserved it as a specimen of His handiwork at the beginning. As Moses beheld that lovely garden, an expression of joy came over his countenance.

But the servant of God was carried still farther. He saw the earth purified by fire, and cleansed from every vestige of sin, every mark of the curse, and renovated, and given to the saints to possess forever and ever. He saw the kingdoms of the earth given to the saints of the Most High. No impurity, nothing to mar their peace and happiness, was in the earth made new.

In the new earth the prophecies which the Jews applied to the first advent of Christ will be fulfilled. The saints will then be redeemed and made immortal. Upon their heads will be crowns of immortality, and joy and glory will be pictured on their countenances, which will reflect the image of their Redeemer.

Moses saw the land of Canaan as it will appear when it becomes the home of the saints. John the revelator was given a view of this same land, of which he writes:

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:1-5.

As Moses beheld this scene, joy and triumph were expressed in his countenance. He could understand the force of all the angels revealed to him. He took in the whole scene as it was presented before him. His mind was firm, his intellect clear. His strength was unabated, his eye was undimmed.

Then he closed his eyes in death, and the angels of God buried him in the mount. And there he slept.

But it was not long before Christ came to raise Moses to life. As He stood by the grave, and bade him come forth, Satan stood by His side, saying, “I have control over him. I tempted him, and he yielded. Even Moses was not able to keep God’s law. He has transgressed and has placed himself on my side of the controversy. He appropriated to himself the glory which belonged to God. He is my property; for by his sin he has placed himself in my dominion and in my power.”

Satan contended earnestly for the body of Moses. Again he sought to enter into controversy with Christ in regard to the injustice of God’s law, and with deceiving power reiterated his false statements about not being fairly treated. His accusations were such that Christ did not bring against him the record of the cruel work he had done in heaven by deceptive misrepresentation, the falsehoods he had told in Eden, that led to Adam’s transgression, and the stirring up of the worst passions of the hosts of Israel, to incite them to murmur and rebel, until Moses lost command of himself.

The sin of Moses was not premeditated. He was surprised into it. He took to himself the murmuring of the people, when they were really murmuring against God.

Christ did not retaliate in answer to Satan. He brought no railing accusation against him, but raised Moses from the dead and took him to heaven.

Here for the first time the power of Christ was exercised to break the power of Satan and give life to the dead. Here began His work of making alive that which was dead. Thus He testified that He was indeed the Resurrection and the Life, that He had power to ransom those whom Satan had made his captives; that although men die, they will live again. The question had been asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Job 14:4. The question was now answered.

This act was a great victory over the powers of darkness. This display of power was an incontrovertible testimony to the supremacy of the Son of God. Satan had not expected that the body would be raised to life after death. He had concluded that the sentence, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” [Genesis 3:19], gave him undisputed possession of the bodies of the dead. Now he saw that he would be despoiled of his prey; that man would live again after death.

After Moses was raised to life, the heavenly gates of Paradise were opened, and Jesus passed in with His captive. No longer was Moses the captive of Satan. In consequence of his sin, Moses merited the penalty of transgression and became subject to death. When he was raised to life, he held his title in another name—the name of Jesus his Head.

The day of exile is nearly ended. The time is at hand when all who are sleeping in their graves will hear His voice and come forth, some to everlasting life, and some to final destruction. Christ will raise all His saints, glorify them with an immortal body, and open to them the gates of the city of God.

God desired Israel to understand that they should obey and worship as supreme the Being who had given them His law, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. When He speaks, man must hear and obey. No one can turn away from His words, thinking that it matters little whether or not they are heard and obeyed.

The fourth precept enjoins the observance of the Sabbath that has been given to man. But how many have dared to trample upon this commandment! God means exactly what He says. When God has commanded that the seventh day shall be observed, man cannot observe any other day that he may choose. God has not said that the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, or the sixth day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; He has specified only the seventh day. Yet men and women venture to trample on God’s law. Oh, what blindness Satan brings upon men and women in this age of degeneracy! God speaks, but His voice is not heard; He commands, but He is not understood.

Moses was a man whom God had honored, to whom He had spoken as a man speaks to his friend. Through Moses God had instructed the Israelites. Yet on account of his one transgression, Moses suffered the penalty of death. By this exhibition of His impartiality, God designed to prompt in the hearts of the Israelites a fear of transgressing His law, and to show that those whom God most honors are not excused when they deviate from the right way.

Those who are the most highly exalted by the Lord, those upon whom the heaviest responsibilities rest, will have to render the strictest account for their words and actions. If those standing in positions of responsibility deviate in the least from the path of duty, how many eyes are turned upon them! Others will say, If they can go so far as that, we can go a little further.

In the name of my Master I appeal to you who are standing in positions of responsibility in Battle Creek. Every deviation from the right path, every exhibition of pride, foolishness, and worldliness, every wrong, whatever its nature, will be visited by a penalty heavier than that which would rest on one not standing in so responsible a position. You are watched.

In so large a church, many are ready to find an excuse for their own conduct by observing the conduct of others. Do the brethren in positions of sacred trust manifest a spirit of lightness or folly? Do they lack devotion and spirituality? Whatever the defects, others take liberties on account of their actions. They say, I am certainly as wide-awake as are these men; I certainly have as much zeal as they have. If they do not feel the importance of making a business of serving God, why need I? If their minds are absorbed in business schemes and business transactions, why should I be required to be holier than they are? Has not God chosen them to do His work? Are they not set as lights to the people? Why should the obligation to serve God rest more heavily upon me than upon them?

I entreat you, who have an interest in the advancement of the work, to walk in the counsel of God. Live devoted lives. Seek for spirituality and for a deep, thorough experience in the things of God. Manifest earnest devotion to the cause of God. Let not selfishness bind you, but separate from it as far as our Lord separated from it.

My brethren and sisters, I implore you to sustain by your prayers those who are in positions of responsibility. Are those who are placed at the center of the work men whom God can teach? Remember that every church feels the pulse beats of the heart of the work. They look to Battle Creek. I implore both old and young not to leave the men in positions of trust to bear all this burden of responsibility.

There are those who come to the meetings and watch you, my brethren and sisters. Wherever I go, I have to meet questions in regard to your dress and deportment and in regard to the burden of God’s work resting so lightly upon you. You have almost double the light that any other place has had, and yet you do not come up to the high standard that God has erected.

Upon every man, woman, and child in Battle Creek rests a heavy weight of responsibility. Will you make advance moves? Will you stand on the broad platform of eternal truth? Will you in your life exemplify the life of Jesus Christ? You ought to be bright and shining lights in the world. Are you? Are those who are engaged in business putting all the powers of brain, bone, and muscle into their business, so that they have no time to serve God? You will have to render an account to God for the use of your time and strength. By living a life of devotion and self-sacrifice in doing good to others, you might have been adding stars and gems to the crown that you will wear in heaven, and laying up unfading, eternal treasures.

O that we might rise to a higher standard! O that we might all be imbued with the missionary spirit! In some are seen only the first glimmerings of the Spirit of God. You are not missionaries at heart. You must be converted. How can you recommend the backslidden to return to the fold, when pride envelopes you as a garment, when vanity encompasses you?

O that we might see in the young people the spirit that dwelt in our Lord! O that we might see you, young people, Bible in hand, instructing those who are in darkness, and pointing them to the way of everlasting life! Do not think that you can do this when you are unconverted, when your heart is not itself susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God, and when you are a stranger to His grace. You must be converted. You must seek to have an indwelling Saviour, who will be to you as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. The water of life flowing from the heart always waters the hearts of others.

There are souls near you that need to be converted. Are you trying to convert them? Many of you are not converted yourselves. Your names are written in the church book, but they are not written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Unless you seek for a deep work of grace in the heart, unless living principles are carried out in your life, you will be a stumbling block over which others will fall and lose their souls. In the day of God you will have to render an account for every action.

Will you forsake your pride? Pride is here. If God ever spoke to me once, twice, thrice, pride is here. Selfishness, pride, and the lack of devotion and love must be cured before Christ will dwell with you, or before you can receive the heavenly riches that will entitle you to eternal life.

Do not feel that I am bearing down on you. It is with a sense of the deepest love that I set these things before you. I love this people, I love this church; but I implore you to remember what your profession is. You are pilgrims and strangers, only passing through this land on foot, journeying to a better country, a heavenly land, where all is joy and peace and happiness. Prepare for the finishing touch of immortality.

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