Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 23, 1903

Our Responsibility in the Present Crisis

Mrs. E. G. White

On us is shining the accumulated light of God's dealings with his people. For our admonition a record has been kept of his reproofs of wrong-doing. We have a knowledge not only of that which he condemns, but of the faithful, commendable work of those who have put their trust in him. The light we may gain from these experiences of God's people in past ages, places upon us in the present crisis a great and solemn responsibility.

In the providence of God, a voice has proclaimed his truth in every age. And in this age faithful workers are unitedly to proclaim with no uncertain voice to the world the special message of truth for this time. They are to proclaim this message in accordance with God's plans, not in accordance with human suggestions.

God's people are to be of a ready mind, quick to see and to avail themselves of every opportunity to advance the Lord's cause. They have a message to bear. By pen and voice they are to sound the note of warning. Only a few will listen; only a few will have ears to hear. Satan has artfully devised many ways of keeping men and women under his influence. He leads them to weaken their organs by the gratification of perverted appetite and by indulgence in worldly pleasure. Intoxicating liquor, tobacco, the theater and the race-course,—these and many other evils are benumbing man's sensibilities, and causing multitudes to turn a deaf ear to God's merciful entreaties.

The human family have become careless and presumptuous. In the place of serving God, they are serving idols. They do not profit by the warning, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [intemperance in eating or in seeking for pleasure], and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” God's sentinels are to stand constantly on the watch-tower, faithfully warning the church against the evils that, if allowed to enter, would weaken and injure the flock.

Every one whose name is on the church books should clearly understand what union with the church means. It means that you have pledged yourself to serve God. It means that you have fully surrendered self to him, in order that Christ may reign where self once reigned. It means that you have given up the selfish ideas and plans that you cherished for so long, and have yielded your mind to the mind of Christ. It means that your fixed purpose is to be one with God, one with his people; that you will exercise self-denial and self-sacrifice to advance the interests of his kingdom; that you will strive to overcome everything that hinders growth in grace.

The Lord leaves in darkness no one who has an ear to hear and a heart to understand. Let every one keep the eye single to God's glory. Be not led astray by the snares of the wicked one. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Let the warnings that God has given in his Word be voiced by the watchmen on the walls of Zion, and heeded by every one in the Master's service. Every case will be tried, every soul proved. Let each one ask, “Am I an evil servant? Do I by precept and example lead other souls in false paths?” Remember that your influence is affecting others for good or for evil.

I beseech the members of every church to seek now for the greatest blessing heaven can bestow—the Holy Spirit. If in faith you seek for a greater measure of God's Spirit, you will be constantly taking it in and breathing it out. Daily you will receive a fresh supply, daily your experience will be enriched by the rich current of God's love. Before you there lie vast fields of truth, vast resources of power. Let your daily prayer be, “Take away, O Lord, what thou dost choose to take, but withhold not from us thy Holy Spirit.”

Preparation for Service

Every true child of God prepares himself for service. Jesus said, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” “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; and thy neighbor as thyself.... This do, and thou shalt live.” These words mean much. Service to God includes all there is of man. The affections must be centered on him alone.

As were God's people anciently, so we should be prepared to advance when the cloud rises and moves forward, and to halt when the cloud stops. We must adjust our movements to the guidance of God's Spirit. In the place of following ways of our own devising, we are to co-operate with divinity. Thus we shall be enabled to keep pace with our Leader.

In order to be a Christian, it is not necessary for a man to have great talents. The human agent may have no voice in legislative councils; he may not be permitted to deliberate in senates or vote in parliaments; yet he has access to God. The King of kings bends low to listen to the prayer coming from one who desires to do the Master's will. An earnest prayer offered from a sincere, contrite heart is of more value in God's sight than is eloquence of speech. God hears every prayer offered with the incense of faith. His weakest child may exert an influence in harmony with the councils of heaven. It is in answer to prayer that God revives his work.

O that the workers at home and abroad could be aroused to stand in their allotted place in the crisis that has come! If all would realize that it is their privilege to be laborers together with God, with what earnestness and devotion they would labor to enlighten the world! They would seize every opportunity to bear the truth into new territory!

God says, “Them that honor me I will honor.” Let us honor him by joining the ranks of his workers. The Leader of the host of heaven is waiting for human agencies to enlist in his service. He will lead us forth, an exceeding great army, to the conquest of the world. With such a Leader we may gain victory in every conflict.

We have no breath to waste in controversy. We are to watch, pray, work, believe, and wait. Let us proclaim the truth in its simplicity, uplifting the Man of Calvary higher and still higher.

“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men [not merely enjoining them by the force of command, but communicating divine knowledge], teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

June 23, 1903

Child Training

Mrs. E. G. White

Fathers and mothers, ask in faith for wisdom to deal with your children in the fear of God. They are a part of your flesh and blood, and have inherited your temperament. When you see them acting as you would act were you not under the control of the Spirit of God, how patiently you should deal with them. Notwithstanding your mistakes and failures, Christ has dealt kindly and patiently with you.

If you desire to learn what course to take with your children, make their peculiar temperaments your constant study. All children can not be managed alike. You may need to manage one child differently from the way in which you manage another. Go to God, telling him your perplexity. He will teach you how to deal with human minds. When you learn lessons from the Source of wisdom, when you manifest an earnest desire to save the souls of those who are of your own flesh and blood, when you show a determination not to let them go but to hold on to them, you will be able to bring them up in the fear of God.

We have much to learn in regard to child training. When teaching the little ones to do things, we must not scold them. Never should we say, “Why did you not do this?” Say, “Children, help mother do this;” or, “Come, children, let us do this.” Be their companion in doing these things. When they finish their work, praise them.

Years ago the children in my home were learning how to knit. One of them asked me, “Mother, I should like to know whether I am helping you by trying to do this knitting work?” I knew that I should have to take out every stitch, but I replied, “Yes, my child, you are helping me.” Why could I say that they were helping me?—Because they were learning. When they did not make the stitches as they should have made them, I took out every stitch afterward, but never did I condemn them for their failure. Patiently I taught them until they knew how to knit properly.

The mother is the queen of the home. She must not allow her children to treat her as a slave. Many a mother has gone down into the grave with a broken heart, because she made a slave of herself, doing things that she should have taught her children to do. Let every mother teach her children that they are members of the family firm, and must bear their share of the responsibilities of this firm. Every member of the family should bear these responsibilities as faithfully as church-members bear the responsibilities of church relationship.

Let the children know that they are helping father and mother by doing little errands. Give them some work to do for you, and tell them that afterward they can have a time to play.

Dress your children neatly in simple clothing, and allow them to spend much time out of doors. You can furnish them with cart-loads of sand in which to play. By playing in the sunshine and the fresh air, children will gain health and strength of mind and body. They will be benefited both spiritually and physically. The Lord recognizes every such effort.

The spiritual education of the child begins in the home. The mother, as the first teacher, should teach her children how to pray, by having them repeat a simple prayer after her. The Saviour dwells in the homes of those who teach their children to pray for his blessing to rest upon them. The saving power of the grace of God will be given to such fathers and mothers.

After the children have learned to write, encourage them to keep a record of the occurrences of the day, noting the points on which they have overcome through the grace of Christ, and also the points on which they have failed. During the evening hour of prayer have a blessed season of confession, and of praise and rejoicing. I am sorry that we do not have more praise services in our homes, sorry that we are so slow to learn to praise him from whom all blessings flow.

June 23, 1903

Importance of Health and Temperance Publications

The temperance question is to receive decided support from God's people. Intemperance is striving for the mastery; self-indulgence is increasing, and the publications treating on health reform are greatly needed. Literature bearing on this point is the helping hand of the gospel, leading souls to search the Bible for a better understanding of the truth. The note of warning against the great evil of intemperance should be sounded; and that this may be done, every Sabbath-keeper should study and practice the instruction contained in our health periodicals and our health books. And they should do more than this: they should make earnest efforts to circulate these publications among their neighbors.

Selling Health Literature

The sale of our health literature will in no way hinder the sale of publications dealing with other phases of the third angel's message. All are to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.

Canvassers should call the attention of those they visit to our health publications, telling them of the valuable instruction these periodicals contain regarding the care of the sick and treatment of diseases. Tell them this instruction, studied and practiced, will bring health to the family. Explain how important it is for every family to understand the science of life. Direct their minds to him who formed and who keeps in motion the wonderful machinery of the body. Tell them that it is our part to co-operate with God, caring wisely for all our faculties and organs. The proper care of the body is a great responsibility, and requires an intelligent knowledge of its parts. Tell them that God is dishonored when, for the gratification of appetite and passion, man misuses the machinery of the body, so that it does its work feebly and with difficulty. Tell them that the books you have for sale give much valuable instruction regarding health, and that by practicing this instruction, much suffering, and also much of the money spent in paying doctors’ bills, will be saved. Tell them that in these books there is advice which they can not possibly obtain from their physician during the short visits he makes.

Teaching Health Principles by Example

In his association with those whom he meets, the canvasser can do much to show the value of healthful living. Instead of staying at a hotel, he should, if possible, obtain lodging with a private family. As he sits at the table with the family, let him practice the instruction given in the health works he is selling, holding up the banner of strict temperance. As opportunity is offered, let him speak of the value of a healthful diet. He should never be ashamed to say, “No, thank you; I do not eat meat.” If tea is offered, let him refuse it, explaining that it is harmful, that though for a time stimulating, the stimulating effect passes off, and a corresponding depression is left. Let him explain the injurious effect of intoxicating drinks, and of tobacco, tea, and coffee, on the digestive organs and the brain.

Ministering to the Sick

As the canvasser goes from place to place, he will find many who are sick. He should have a practical knowledge of the causes of disease, and should understand how to give simple treatments, that he may relieve the suffering ones. More than this, he should pray in faith and simplicity for the sick, pointing them to the great Physician. As he thus walks and works with God, ministering angels are beside him, giving him access to hearts. What a wide field for missionary effort lies before the faithful, consecrated canvasser; what a blessing will be his in the diligent performance of his work.

A Sacred and Important Work

Young men, young women, you are called by the Master to take up his work. His requirements are too sacred to be tampered with. In the name of the Lord I ask you to conquer every unlawful appetite and passion, and to purify your souls by a belief in the truth. Overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony. Discharge faithfully your obligations, looking to God for strength.

Church-members, awake to the importance of the circulation of our literature, and devote more time to this work. Place in the homes of the people papers, tracts, and books that will preach the gospel in its several lines. There is no time to be lost. Let many give themselves willingly and unselfishly to the canvassing work, and thus help to sound a warning that is greatly needed. When the church takes up her appointed work, she will go forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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