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    July 11, 1898

    “Christian Manliness. No. 3. (Concluded.)” The Bible Echo 13, 28, p. 232.

    ATJ

    (Concluded).

    IT is proper now to treat a matter of fact respecting the point I mentioned as to those people who say, “Well, if I can get a situation where I can keep the Sabbath, I will do so.” Just as certainly as they do that in order to be Christians, they will be babies right along. They will simply be baby Seventh-day Adventists. If one of them should get a position in one of our publishing houses, or tract societies, or conferences, he would go to it because the institution or the conference wants Sabbath-keepers or course forever; and as his Sabbath-keeping depends upon his having a position, it follows, logically enough, that he must have that place forever, as if it were an infirmary, and expect to remain there forever. And going there expecting that he will remain forever, and being a baby anyhow, his Christianity being only a form, he does not put forth divine energy so that his work is efficient, and does not pay for his keeping in whatever position he may be placed.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.1

    Now, these babyish people, when they see the truth and want to accept it, think if they can only get a position in one of our institutions, or where they can make a living off the rest, so that they “can keep the Sabbath,” they will accept it. Recently I received a letter from a man who said he had a shoe store in which there was a £1,000 stock of goods. He said he had heard the message preached last year, and said he was converted, but that he could not keep the Sabbath and carry on his business where he is, because he is obliged to keep his store open on the Sabbath. And he wanted to find a place where he could shut his store on the Sabbath, and “so keep the Sabbath.” He wanted to know if there was not an opening for a shoe store in some place where there were a large number of Sabbath keepers, also what was the prospect for success with a grocery. I was obliged to tell him that in the part of town in the part of town where I live, there are two shoe stores; that between the publishing office and my home, four blocks away, there are six groceries, and that in a radius of five blocks there are six other groceries, making at least twelve groceries in a radius of five blocks; and therefore he might judge for himself as to the openings for either the shoe or the grocery business.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.2

    And I told him more than this. I told him what I would tell to everybody,—that his whole idea was a mistaken one. I told him that if he could not keep the Sabbath where he is, he could not keep it if he were in the town where I live; that if he should come here as he proposed, and set up a business, so that he “could keep the Sabbath,” he would not be keeping the Sabbath when it was done. His religion would be only a form, and his “Sabbath-keeping” only Saturday-keeping, with no Christianity and no virtue of any kind in it.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.3

    I told him yet more than this, and still what I would tell to everybody of that kind,—that his letter showed that he was mistaken about his conversion. I told him that if he had been really converted last year, he would have closed his store rightly the first Sabbath after he was converted, and that it would have been closed every Sabbath since. I told him that if he was really converted, he would be keeping the Sabbath just where he is, and would not be looking around for some other place where he “could kept it;” and he would make his Sabbath-keeping regulate his business, and not his business regulate his “Sabbath-keeping,” which in that case would not be Sabbath-keeping at all.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.4

    When people of this kind come into the truth, they come in as babies, and they will remain babies as long as they live in this way. Therefore I say that it is essential that this kind of Christianity—this true Christian manliness—be preached to all in every place.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.5

    I state as a vital principle that no man is qualified for any position of any kind in any conference or institution of Seventh-day Adventists until he is able to make his way prosperously outside of it. When he can do that, he does not care whether he gets a position in Seventh-day Adventist institutions or not: he is independent of them,—he is independent of everybody and everything but Christ; and Christ within himself is his life, his strength, his wisdom, his all iu [sic.] all. He does not have to fawn and palaver, for fear he may not have the favor of the president of the Conference, and so lose his “place.” If he works in the office of publication, he will not always have his eye on the foreman, and swing this way or that way, in order to keep his favor, for fear of being discharged. No; he is there, and expects to remain there, solely because of the value of his services. He is just as independent of that place after he gets it as he was before, and just as independent out of it as in it. He does not care whether the president of the Conference, or the foreman, or the general manager looks askance at him or not. He is not working for the president of the Conference, nor for the foreman, nor for the general manager. He is working only for God, with the eye of God upon him. And he cares not whose eye may inspect is work. He will not be so jealous of his “place” that he is constantly apprehensive that some one else will get his “place.” The man who puts his dependence only in God, and serves God, and goes into Christianity because God is in it,—that man is never afraid of losing his place. His place is with God, and no man can take it. He is not afraid of losing his place; for wherever he is, he is with God, and that is his place. If God calls him to another part of his great workshop, and gives him another piece of work, he still has his place. He is where God has called him, he is where God wants him, and he can not lose his place. He does not get his place from any man, and no man can take it away from him.BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.6

    Therefore, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, BE STRONG.”BEST July 11, 1898, page 232.7

    A. T. JONES.

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