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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 115, 1901

    Be Ye Therefore Sober, and Watch Unto Prayer


    November 13, 1901

    Previously unpublished. +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.

    “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” [Luke 21:34-36.]16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 1

    This is the Saviour’s warning to His followers, those who have heard the precious message so mercifully sent from heaven. Those who believe this message will reveal purity, modesty, humility, and contrition. They will make an intensely practical application of the truths they hear. Their souls will be purified; for the truth is as a sharp, two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 2

    Paul writes, “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe; as ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God, because, when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” [1 Thessalonians 2:10-13.]16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 3

    Our camp-meetings are held at great expense, and those who attend should come filled with an earnest desire to gain spiritual help and strength during their stay. But I fear that many of the young people who come to the camp-meetings come only to see and be seen. If the solemn truths they hear do not find entrance into the heart, better far would it be for them to remain at home. If they hear the warnings and reproofs and invitations of the Word of God, and yet are not filled with a desire to be cleansed from all defilement, the meetings are to them a savor of death unto death.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 4

    Those who hear God’s messages from the lips of His servants carry a heavier responsibility than before they heard. God places on them the burden of hearing aright, that they may impart to others what they hear. He who with faith and thanksgiving receives the heaven-sent instruction, finds that it is to him a savor of life unto life, purifying and ennobling him.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 5

    The question has been asked me, Who shall we use as special helpers in our camp-meetings? I have given those, who asked, the instruction the Lord has at different times given me. Do not accept as helpers in a camp-meeting boys and girls who do not give decided evidence that they know the meaning of true godliness. If in the home life they have not shaped their experience by the truth, if they have not gone to Jesus for help to perform everyday duties and to bear everyday trials, how can they help those who know nothing of Jesus? They need to repent and be converted. However high the profession they make, it is valueless while the life is out of harmony with the life of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 6

    The youth need to understand that conversion is not a passing enthusiasm or impulse. Neither is it fanaticism. It is a change of life. I am sorry to have to say that many who suppose themselves to be children of God show by their lives that conversion has brought no change to them. They do not live Christ’s life. They do not obey His words. They are not striking roots down deep into the knowledge of His Word, that they may grow and bear fruit to His glory. They do not bring their thoughts into conformity to His will.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 7

    Harm will be done unless care is shown in selecting young people to sell our periodicals. Those who do this work exert an influence that tells for good or evil.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 8

    Boys and girls who do not give evidence that they understand that religion means conformity to the will of God, who have not learned to be obedient to their parents, should not be chosen to work in connection with our camp-meetings. They are not proper representatives of Christ. They cannot serve Him acceptably, either in the reception tent or the dining tent; for their conduct is not such as to make a right impression on the minds of unbelievers. We can well spare such workers, and we are better off without their help.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 9

    At one camp-meeting several young girls thought it their duty to visit a ship lying in the harbor, in response to an invitation given them by the captain, who had attended a meeting on the campground. Did the Lord send these young girls to that ship, to talk with the sailors and officers? No, indeed. It was no place for them. If women visit these places at all, let it be married women, and let them be accompanied by their husbands. Young girls should never be encouraged to do this work.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 10

    And when a ship’s captain comes to one of our meetings, let not the young girls flock around him, as if anxious for an invitation to visit his ship.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 11

    I wish that parents had a deeper sense of the responsibility resting on them to command their children after them in the way of the Lord. Far more vigilance should be shown in this respect. Far more practical religion should be brought into the home life. Let fathers and mothers awaken to their duty.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 12

    At another of our camp-meetings, a young man, an unbeliever, came into the dining tent and took his place at one of the tables. Instantly he was waited on by several young girls, who, though professed Christians, showed a great lack of propriety in their words and actions. The young man would make some foolish remark, and then all the girls would giggle. And this was kept up during the whole of his stay in the tent. What impression did this make on the strangers coming and going? Some were heard to remark that if the girls had any common sense, they would see that the man was a bad man.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 13

    This scene was witnessed by some who have a close connection with God and a deep interest in His work, and their hearts were filled with anxiety and pain by the indecorous conduct of those professing to be representatives of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 14

    In their associations with young men, young women cannot guard too carefully every approach to familiarity and commonness. The way in which girls and young women can best impress the strangers visiting our camp-meetings is by keeping in modest retirement, clothing themselves with the garment of Christian reserve.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 15

    This matter is nothing new to me, for again and again has the warning been given in regard to young girls carelessly placing themselves in the company of men of whom they know nothing. They may flatter themselves that they have sufficient knowledge to keep themselves from harm, but their course of action reveals their ignorance. They do not see the importance of modesty and propriety, especially in this age, when iniquity is drunk like water, when licentiousness prevails, when the history of tarnished characters and ruined lives is daily growing larger.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 16

    There have been young unmarried women and young married women who have claimed to have a special burden to work for the salvation of young men. Those who take charge of our camp-meetings should awake to the danger of this. Great evils have come from the desire of young women to work for young men. Thus many young women have become cheap and common. Claiming to do missionary work, they have lost all love for the truth. Some have formed marriages with worthless young men or with men twice their age. Let all beware of encouraging this class of missionary work.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 17

    I am seriously alarmed by the conversation of some who profess to be Seventh-day Adventists. They will sit down to partake of food, and after the blessing has been asked on the food, they will indulge in trifling conversation and loud laughter. I have heard them, and have thought, How can they laugh thus when the world is filled with those who are languishing in poverty and discouragement, want and suffering? The loud, boisterous laugh is entirely out of place at the family board. The weak and silly giggle, represented in the Scriptures as the laughter of fools at their own folly, is displeasing to God. It is a denial of Christ.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 18

    The Christian is to represent Christ in the smallest actions of life. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Colossians 3:17.] And again, “Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” [1 Corinthians 10:31.]16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 19

    Let us heed the admonition, “Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” [1 Peter 4:7.] The Bible is to be our guide in all things. Its grand truths possess power to elevate and ennoble. Like threads of gold the love of God is to run through all we do.16LtMs, Ms 115, 1901, par. 20

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