Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

August 23, 1898

The Christian's Duty

Mrs. E. G. White

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”

This privilege is presented before every soul. Each may have heaven's light to guide him. If we discern the truth, and obey it, our whole course of action will be in accordance with the truth; for the truth sanctifies the receiver. But if men refuse to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, if the mind is pleased with the theories of error, the soul will remain in darkness. The course of the life, the development of the character, will be corrupted by false sentiments. Error never sanctifies. It can do no good. And how full of darkness is the soul that receives error as truth, and shapes his course of action in accordance with it.

All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. The most solemn responsibility rests upon them to devote their powers to making known the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. They must not live a divided life. “Ye can not serve God and Mammon,” says the Great Teacher. You may think that you can serve both; but Christ says, You will hold to the one, and despise the other. Christ lived not to please himself. He was self-denying. In behalf of man, he consented to become a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. All who stand ready to make a compromise with the world do in truth despise the humble, self-denying, self-sacrificing principles of Christ.

All who have the mind of Christ will live the law of God. They will feed upon Christ, and become partakers of the divine nature. They will stand as God's living sentinels for the truth. It is not a trifling matter for those who have the light of truth to be non-committal, nor for the sentiments of the heart to be expressed in the words, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” The influence of the peace-and safety sentiment is in the midst of us. A worldly, malarious influence prevails to soothe those who should be stirred by the message of truth to stand as faithful sentinels at the post of duty. Truth must be expressed in our lives. The light must shine brightly, or we shall cause others to stumble and fall.

Those who hide their light will soon lose all power to let it shine. They are represented by the foolish virgins; and when the crisis comes, and the last call is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” they will find that while they have been mingling with the world, their light has gone out. They did not continue to provide themselves with the oil of grace. The peace-and-safety cry hushed them to slumber, and made them careless in regard to their light. The ease-loving, world-loving professed Christians can not go in with the wise virgins to the marriage feast. When they solicit entrance, saying, “Lord, Lord, open unto us,” the reply is made, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

The voice of God speaks to his people, saying: “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.” Those who are watching and waiting for the appearance of Christ in the clouds of heaven will not mingle with the world in gatherings merely for their own amusement. As faithful watchmen, they will be found proclaiming, “The morning cometh, and also the night.”

God calls upon those who stand as soldiers under his blood-stained banner to go to work. He will give increased light to those who love the light, to those who seek for the truth with keen perception. In the Holy Spirit, celestial aid is given to every soul. Heavenly inspiration is still imparted to God's people. God would have those who know the truth impart that which they have gained in Christian experience. The time is coming when it will be too late to use the light we now have. Then the decree will go 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, 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. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

God's people must give to the world a representation of the character of Christ. A message has come from God, which must be proclaimed: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Those who are of a contrite heart will receive the message from heaven, and will repeat the words of invitation, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Christ called the attention of the woman of Samaria from the inferior gifts of this life to those things that are eternal, saying: “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

These words of Christ are to be repeated by every worker together with God. Our faith will give evidence of its sincerity in genuine work for the souls that are in darkness. In the place of educating ourselves to have a do-nothing spirit, we shall have an earnest desire to create in every heart a love for souls. Words of entreaty and warning will be spoken to those who are seeking to quench their thirst from the waters of the valley instead of the snow waters of Lebanon.

Those whom Christ has connected with himself will, so far as in them lies, labor diligently and perseveringly, as he labored, to save the souls who are perishing around them. It is impossible for those who are really converted, enjoying communion with God, to be negligent of the vital interests of those who are perishing outside of Christ. There may be some who think the way of life trying and difficult. These should go to work and seek to help others. In such efforts, mingled with prayer for divine light, their own hearts will throb with the quickening influence of the grace of God; their own affections will glow with more divine fervor; and their whole Christian life will be more of a reality, more earnest, more prayerful.

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