Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Review and Herald

August 22, 1899

The Salt of the Earth

Mrs. E. G. White

In his teachings, Christ likened his disciples to objects most familiar to them. He compared them to salt and to light. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” he said; “ye are the light of the world.” These words were spoken to a few poor, humble fishermen. Priests and rabbis were in that congregation of hearers, but these were not the ones addressed. With all their learning, with all their supposed instruction in the mysteries of the law, with all their claims of knowing God, they revealed that they knew him not. To these leading men had been committed the oracles of God, but Christ declared them to be unsafe teachers. He said to them, Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men. “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” Turning from these men to the humble fishermen, he said, “Ye are the salt of the earth.”

Christ's own character was to be represented in his disciples. They were to bear the gospel to the world. They were to be doers of the word that they presented, which was to be to them and to others a savor of life unto life. From them was to go forth a message, illuminating in its influence, and saving in its power.

By these words of Christ we gain some idea of what constitutes the value of human influence. It is to work with the influence of Christ, to lift where Christ lifts, to impart correct principles, and stay the progress of the world's corruption. It is to diffuse that grace which Christ alone can impart. It is to uplift, to sweeten the lives and characters of others by the power of a pure example united with earnest faith and love. God's people are to exercise a reforming, preserving power in the world. They are to counter-work the destroying, corrupting influence of evil. By pen and voice they are to uplift before men the One who came to seek and to save that which was lost.

The Jews were familiar with the figure of the salt, and there was in the words of Christ that which commended his principles to his hearers. “If the salt have lost its savor,” he said, “wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.” This was the condition of the Jewish nation. The salt was there, but it was useless. It could do no good to any one. This represents those who have once accepted Bible truth, who have once understood what it means to be as the salt with its saving properties, but who have lost their connection with Christ. They possess in themselves no saving qualities. They are criticizers, accusers of the brethren, as was the first apostate. They do not seek to enlighten and save their fellow men. These persons are useless as far as truth and righteousness are concerned, and are fit only to be treated as the salt that has lost its savor.

Christ presents before us true religion. He reverses the decisions of ages, and shows that true knowledge is in direct opposition to the opinions of men. The work of the people of God in the world is to restrain evil, to elevate, to purify, and to ennoble mankind. The principles of kindness and love and benevolence are to uproot every fiber of the selfishness that has permeated all society and corrupted the church. Then the Lord God Omnipotent can reign, and the Spirit of Christ will be an abiding influence in the life. If men and women will open their hearts to the heavenly influence of truth and love, these principles will flow forth again, like streams in the desert, refreshing all, and causing freshness to appear where now are barrenness and dearth. The influence of those who keep the way of the Lord will be as far-reaching as eternity. They will carry with them the cheerfulness of heavenly peace as an abiding, refreshing, enlightening power.

Again, there is to be an open influence. Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Christ exercised mercy, tenderness, and compassion, that he might bless suffering humanity. He worked to restore the physical and the moral image of God in man. In this work man is to be a laborer together with God. Physical and moral health and spiritual light are to be communicated from the mighty Healer.

The light that shines from those who receive Jesus Christ is not self-originated. It is all from the Light and Life of the world. He kindles this light, even as he kindles the fire that all must use in doing his service. Christ is the light, the life, the holiness, the sanctification, of all who believe, and his light is to be received and imparted in all good works. In many different ways his grace is also acting as the salt of the earth: whithersoever this salt finds its way, to homes or communities, it becomes a preserving power to save all that is good, and to destroy all that is evil.

True religion is the light of the world, the salt of the earth. Christian parents, will you consider that the salt possesses saving virtues for your family? There are to be no loud-voiced commands in the home. Let nothing come forth from your lips that is unkind and exasperating to your children. These children receive their first lessons from their father and mother; and no harsh, severe, gloomy representation should be given them. The love of Christ is to fashion their characters. Manifest the meekness and gentleness of Christ in dealing with the wayward little ones. Bear in mind that they have received their perversity as an inheritance from the father or mother, and be patient with the children who have inherited your own traits of character.

Be firm and decided in carrying out Bible instruction, but never give way to passion. Bear in mind that when you become harsh or unreasonable before your little ones, you teach them to be the same. God requires you to educate your children, bringing into your discipline all the generalship of a wise teacher, who is under the control of God. If the converting power of God is exercised in your home, you yourselves will be constant learners. You will represent the character of Christ, and your efforts will please God. Never neglect the work that should be done for the younger members of the Lord's family. You, parents, are the light of your home. Let your light shine forth in pleasant words, in soothing tones. Then angels will be in your home; and the discipline you give your children will go forth in strong, clear currents to the world. Your children will carry with them the precious influence of their home education. Then work in the home circle, in the first years of the children's lives, and they will carry into the schoolroom and into the world an influence that will be a savor of life unto life.

When the church shall understand her relation to the world, active personal work will be done. As a people, we are responsible for the souls that are perishing out of Christ. Every soul who is joined to Christ should be a living, active agency to represent him. He is to be a saving power in a perishing world. Souls are crying, “Send us help. We are thirsting for the waters of salvation. We are starving for the bread of life.” Will our church members feed upon the word of life, and feel no burden to carry the truth to those who sit in the darkness of error? Do Christ's followers have no conception of the infinite price that has been paid to ransom these souls from the power of Satan? There is need of a strong and united influence to co-operate with the Captain of our salvation in taking the spoil from the power of the enemy, and making men and women free in Christ. Shall we not every one seek to stimulate others to work for fallen man? Pray earnestly, unitedly, perseveringly, for spiritual power. The fountain of grace and knowledge is ever flowing. It is inexhaustible. It is from this abundant fulness that we are supplied.

Every one has talents of value to be used in winning souls to Christ. But many who claim to be disciples of Christ have no real connection with God. They do not go forth in service. They possess no Christlike attributes. The salt has lost its savor. Men who have never experienced the tender, winning love of Christ in the soul can not lead others to the fountain of life. But if the love of Christ is abiding in the heart, it will prove a powerful, working agency. It will be revealed in the conversation, in the tender, pitiful spirit, in the efforts made to uplift the souls with whom we are brought in contact.

The dissemination of the truth of God is not confined to a few ordained ministers. The truth is to be scattered by all who claim to be disciples of Christ. It must be sown beside all waters. There is danger for those who do little or nothing for Christ. The grace of God will not long abide in the soul of him who, having great privileges and opportunities, remains silent. Such a man will soon find that he has nothing to tell. If church-members would realize what their account has been, and still is, they would deny self. They would lift the cross. They would seek to save the souls that are perishing. They would go forth with weeping, bearing precious seed in love, that they might come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.

August 22, 1899

Disease and Its Causes

Drugs and Their Effects

Mrs. E. G. White

Another scene was then presented before me. I was brought into the presence of a female, apparently about thirty years of age. A physician was standing by her, and reporting that her nervous system as deranged, that her blood was impure and moved sluggishly, and that her stomach was in a cold, inactive condition. He said he would give her active remedies, which would soon improve her condition. He gave her a powder from a vial upon which was written “Nux vomica.” I watched to see what effect this would have upon the patient. It appeared to act favorably. Her condition seemed better. She was animated, and even seemed cheerful and active.

My attention was then called to still another case. I was introduced into the sick-room of a young man who was in a high fever. A physician was standing by the bedside of the sufferer, with a portion of medicine taken from a vial upon which was written “Calomel.” He administered this chemical poison, and a change seemed to take place, but not for the better.

I was then shown still another case. It was that of a female, who seemed to be suffering much pain. A physician stood by the bedside of the patient, and was administering medicine taken from a vial upon which was written “Opium.” At first this drug seemed to affect the mind. She talked strangely, but finally became quiet, and slept.

My attention was then called to the first case, that of the father who had lost his wife and two children. The physician was in the sick-room, standing by the bedside of the afflicted daughter. Again he left the room without giving medicine. The father, when alone in the presence of the physician, seemed deeply moved, and inquired, impatiently, “Do you intend to do nothing? Will you leave my only daughter to die?”

The physician said: “I have listened to the sad history of the death of your much-loved wife and your two children, and have learned from your own lips that all three died while in the care of physicians, and while taking medicines prescribed and administered by their hands. Medicine has not saved your loved ones; and as a physician, I solemnly believe that none of them need, or ought to, have died. They could have recovered if they had not been so drugged that nature was enfeebled by abuse, and finally crushed.” He stated decidedly to the agitated father: “I can not give medicine to your daughter. I shall only seek to assist nature in her efforts, by removing every obstruction, and then leave nature to recover the exhausted energies of the system.” He placed in the father's hand a few directions, which he enjoined him to follow closely: “Keep the patient free from excitement, and every influence calculated to depress. Her attendants should be cheerful and hopeful. She should have a simple diet, and should be allowed plenty of pure soft water to drink. She should bathe frequently in pure soft water, and this treatment should be followed by gentle rubbing. Let light and air be freely admitted into her room. She must have quiet and undisturbed rest.”

The father slowly read the prescription, wondered at the few simple directions it contained, and seemed doubtful that any good would result from such simple means.

Said the physician: “You have had sufficient confidence in my skill to place the life of your daughter in my hands. Withdraw not your confidence. I will visit your daughter daily, and direct you in the management of her case. Follow my directions with confidence, and I trust in a few weeks to present her to you in a much better condition of health, if not fully restored.”

The father looked sad and doubtful, but submitted to the decision of the physician. He feared that his daughter must die, if she had no medicine.

The second case was again presented before me. The patient had appeared better under the influence of nux vomica. She was sitting up, folding a shawl closely around her, and complaining of chilliness. The air in the room was impure. It was heated, and had lost its vitality. Almost every crevice where pure air could enter was guarded, to protect the patient from a sense of painful chilliness, which was especially felt in the back of the neck and down the spinal column. If the door was left ajar, she seemed nervous and distressed, and entreated that it should be closed, for she was cold. She could not bear the least draft of air from the door or windows. A gentleman of intelligence stood looking pityingly upon her, and said, to those present: “This is the second result of nux vomica. It is especially felt upon the nerves, and it affects the whole nervous system. There will be, for a time, increased forced action upon the nerves. But as the strength of this drug is spent, there will be chilliness and prostration. Just to the degree that it excites and enlivens will be the deadening, benumbing results following.”

The third case was again presented before me. It was that of the young man to whom was administered calomel. He was a great sufferer. His lips were dark and swollen. His gums were inflamed. His tongue was thick and swollen, and the saliva was running from his mouth in large quantities. The intelligent gentleman before mentioned looked sadly upon the sufferer, and said: “This is the influence of mercurial preparations. This young man had sufficient nervous energy remaining to begin a warfare upon this intruder, this drug poison, to attempt to expel it from the system. Many have not sufficient life-force left to arouse to action; and nature is overpowered, ceases her efforts, and the victim dies.”

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»