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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899) - Contents
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    Ms 17, 1899

    The New Commandment


    March 2, 1899

    Portions of this manuscript are published in OHC 24, 231; SD 101; 2MCP 579. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    “A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you, because the darkness in passed, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” [1 John 2:8-10.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 1

    God desires us to learn the lesson that we are to love Him supremely and our neighbor as Christ has loved us. To do this, we must practice self-control. If we would be true lights, to light every man which cometh into the world, we must manifest the loving, compassionate spirit of Christ.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 2

    What a world of evil has resulted from evil-speaking and evil-surmising. As the inclination to criticize and accuse is indulge, it will strengthen. Those who yield to this inclination place themselves under the training of the priests of Satan’s synagogue. He is the accuser of the brethren, and he improves every opportunity to imbue men and women with his spirit and make them wise to do his work. Shall we not hate his attributes and refuse to be co-partners with him?14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 3

    God would have His children realize that in order to glorify Him their affection must be given to those who most need it. None with whom we come in contact are to be neglected. No selfishness, in look, word, or deed, is to be manifested when dealing with those of like precious faith, whatever may be their position, whether they be high or low, rich or poor. The love that gives kind words to only a few, while others are treated with coldness and indifference, is not love, but selfishness. It will not in any way work for the good of souls or the glory of God. Our love is not to be confined to one or two objects. It is not to be sealed up for special ones, to the neglect of others. Break the bottle, and the fragrance will fill the house.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 4

    Those who gather the sunshine of Christ’s righteousness, and do not let it shine forth into the lives of others, will soon lose the sweet, bright rays of heavenly grace, selfishly reserved to be lavished only upon a few. Those who possess much affection, are responsible to God to bestow this affection, not merely upon the members of their own family—for this is selfishness, which has no place in the life of Christ—but on all who need help. Self should not be placed first, gathering to itself a select few, but giving nothing to those who need help the most. Those who do this in no way represent Christ.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 5

    To love as Christ loved means to manifest unselfishness at all times and in all places, by kind words and pleasant looks. These cost those who give them nothing, but they leave behind a fragrance that surrounds the soul. Their effect can never be estimated. Not only are they a blessing to the receiver, but to the giver, for they react upon him. Genuine love is a precious attribute of heavenly origin, which increases in fragrance in proportion as it is dispensed to others.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 6

    While our words are ever to be kind and tender, no words should be spoken that will lead a wrongdoer to think that his way is not objectionable to God. This is a kind of sympathy that is earthly and deceiving. No license is given for undue manifestation of affections, for sentimental sympathy. Wrongdoers need counsel and reproof, and must sometimes be sharply rebuked.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 7

    Coldness and hardheartedness are not to be regarded as virtues. Those who cherish Christ’s attributes of character will never be cold and stern and unapproachable in their demeanor, confining their sympathies to a favored few. The souls of those who love Jesus will be surrounded with a pure, fragrant atmosphere. There are those who hide their soul hunger. These will be greatly helped by a tender word or a kind remembrance. The heavenly gifts, freely and richly bestowed by God, are in turn to be freely bestowed by us upon all who come within the sphere of our influence. Thus we reveal a love that is heaven-born, and which will increase as it is freely used in blessing others. Thus we glorify God.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 8

    Christ’s love is deep and earnest, flowing like an irrepressible stream to all who will accept it. There is no selfishness in His love. If this heaven-born love is an abiding principle in the heart, it will make itself known, not only to those we hold most dear in sacred relationship, but to all with whom we come in contact. It will lead us to bestow little acts of attention, to make concessions, to perform deeds of kindness, to speak tender, true, encouraging words. It will lead us to sympathize with those whose hearts hunger for sympathy.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 9

    “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 10

    “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” [Ephesians 2:4-13.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 11

    “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 2:1-5.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 12

    “Ye Are Complete In Him”

    The Lord would have all quick to remember His favors and blessings, that by studying His dealing, so merciful and compassionate, their experience may be enriched. He would teach this lesson from the record of what the children of Israel were to do after passing over Jordan.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 13

    “Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaster them with plaster, and thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the Lord God of thy fathers promised thee. Therefore it shall be when ye shall be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in Mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaster them with plaster.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 14

    “And there shalt thou build an altar unto the Lord thy God, at altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up an iron tool upon it. Thou shalt build the altar of the Lord thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord thy God; and thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the Lord thy God. And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.” [Deuteronomy 27:1-8.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 15

    Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Peter writes, “Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” [2 Peter 1:10-12.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 16

    And Paul declares, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. ... But after that the kindness of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” [Titus 3:1, 2, 4-8.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 17

    These words are a call to life and liberty, freedom and happiness. There is work for all to do in co-operating with God to build up characters which will fit them to unite with the royal family in the kingdom of God.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 18

    Christ came to draw sinners to Himself, by His words and by His Spirit. Those who depend upon Him for guidance will not remain in ignorance and sin, but will climb round after round of the ladder Jacob saw. Divine illumination will come to God’s believing, hungering children.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 19

    The Word of God brings to view a people who are overcomers. “These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” [Revelation 14:4, 5.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 20

    “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [2 Corinthians 4:6.] In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle’s wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” [Exodus 19:3-6.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 21

    This pledge was given not only to Israel, but to all who are obedient to God’s Word. Those who live amid the perils of the last days may realize that just as at the beginning of their experience the truth united them to the Saviour, so He who is the Author and Finisher of their faith will perfect the work he has begun for them. God is faithful, by whom we are called to fellowship with His Son. As men and women co-operate with God in doing the work He has given them, they go forward from strength to greater strength. As they exercise simple faith, believing day by day that God will not fail to establish them in Christ, God says to them as He did to ancient Israel: “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, the Lord hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” [Deuteronomy 7:6.]14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 22

    Thus God is able and willing to lead all who will be led. He desires to teach each one a lesson of constant trust, unwavering faith, and unquestioning submission. He says to each one, I am the Lord thy God. Walk with me, and I will fill thy path with light. He comes to all with priceless gifts, inviting them to companionship with Himself. He would make them members of His royal family.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 23

    But God requires obedience to all His commands. The only way in which it is possible for men to be happy is by rendering obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom.14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 24

    Life, with its privileges and endowments, is God’s gift. Let us remember that all we have comes from God, and is to be wholly and freely consecrated to Him. Paul declares, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of God by faith.” [Philippians 3:8, 9.] The sacrifice of our ideas, our will, is necessary if we would be one with Christ in God. All we have and are must be laid at Christ’s feet. Shall we not give up all selfishness, and learn the lesson of abiding in Christ?14LtMs, Ms 17, 1899, par. 25

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