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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 180, 1901

    Sermon/On the Twelfth of Romans

    South Lancaster, Massachusetts

    December 1, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in RH 01/07/1902.

    (Part of a discourse given by Mrs. E. G. White at S. Lancaster, Mass., Sunday, 2:30 P.M., December 1, 1901.)16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 1

    In the twelfth chapter of Romans we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Verses 1, 2.]16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 2

    Here the apostle beseeches us to reach the high standard which it is possible to attain. Christ made it possible when He laid aside His royal robes, His royal crown, stepped down from His royal throne, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. He could not with His glory and majesty take His position among men. The glory must be laid aside. He must take the rude garments of humanity, and be afflicted with all the afflictions of humanity, that He might understand the temptations of humanity. He would become a faithful judge of how much they had to contend with in satanic agencies.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 3

    Through this experience Christ was enabled to give power to His people. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on Him.” [John 1:12.] This is where our power lies; it is not in ourselves.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 4

    We are not to conform to the ways of worldlings. No worldly policy must come into our efforts to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that must work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:3.] All that we have in gifts and capabilities, in speech, in thought and action, is from God. We do not create it. It is the gift of God. We must understand, also, that there is with each of us an individuality—a character to work out after the divine similitude. “Ye are God’s husbandry; ye are God’s building.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] You must cooperate, then, with God in the work of husbandry and building of your characters: there must be a turning away from things as dear to the human, carnal nature as the right eye, the right arm. If these cause stumbling, cut them off.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 5

    Yesterday I spoke upon the necessity of our standing in right relation to God in regard to our own perfection of character; and also on the example we should give to those around us. “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way.” [Hebrews 12:13.] You are not to be swayed to the right hand, and to the left—one day on the mount, and the next day in the valley filled with despondency. You are to think reasonably. Consider that “as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” [Romans 12:4, 5.]16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 6

    Here is your responsibility before God, not only to realize your accountability before God to serve Him, but to educate all the force of every power that you possess to the highest perfection, that you may present to God an offering of yourself, your mind, your soul, your body, for Him to work by His Holy Spirit. The bright sunshine of Christ’s righteousness will then shine into your soul, and you will have blessings to impart to others. You will then want to help every one around you.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 7

    About eleven years ago, when I was in the city of Brooklyn, we had a very profitable meeting, and the question was asked after the meeting whether certain ones should come to Brooklyn to be educated for the missionary work. From the light that had been given me I knew that those in charge of the mission were not prepared for this effort, for they had not the qualifications to do the right kind of work. They did not understand the education and training essential for the work to be done, and their work would have to be counter-worked. I told them plainly that I could not give my sanction to such a movement.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 8

    This mission work in large cities like Brooklyn and New York means something. The Lord wants every one of us to educate himself for God. At baptism, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, we are set apart to engage in the very work that Christ came to the world to do. He was in the highest sense a missionary, a healing missionary. While He went from place to place healing the sick and suffering, His disciples were gaining from Him that instruction which alone could be called higher education.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 9

    Now there is a great work to be done in our cities, and it must be taken hold of without delay. Solemn interests are at stake; souls are hungering for the bread of life. Will we receive the word from Christ to give to him that is hungry; and to him that is thirsty for the water of life? Why should we pass by the most wealthy classes? God has a message for them, a call to repentance, as had John, “For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2.]16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 10

    There is nothing that can accomplish as much for these classes as the medical missionary work. This work commends itself to the hearts of men whose whole lives have been perverted. They have been in the habit of eating and drinking, and indulging in luxuries, until they are broken down physically before they reach maturity. They are in need of heavenly truth, Bible enlightenment. Do you not think that there is hope of saving some of these? Certainly there is. There is nothing that will help them into right paths like showing the necessity of becoming acquainted with the human temple that God has given them, the beautiful machinery to be brought into, and kept in, perfect order.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 11

    No one is to be indifferent in this matter. Life, eternal life, is presented to them as a gift of God, if they will receive it. Will they show wisdom, as did Daniel and his fellows to refuse the meats and the wines which, if used, would injure the Lord’s wonderful and beautiful machinery? Will they reason from cause to effect? They need—yes, the supposed wealthy men need—wisdom how to conduct themselves so as to preserve their powers of mind and body. They are ignorant in regard to the effect of their eating and drinking, and do not know what a temperate diet will do for them.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 12

    We should not be prevailed upon to take anything into the mouth that will bring the body into an unhealthy condition, no matter how much we like it. Why? Because we are God’s property. You have a crown to win, a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun. Then for Christ’s sake I ask you, Will you turn away from the light that shines upon you in clear and distinct rays, and say, “I love this, and I love that”? If I had not followed the light given me, I would not be before you today. God calls upon every one of you to begin to plan to cooperate with God in His great care and love, to elevate, ennoble, and sanctify the whole soul, body, and spirit, that we may be workers together with God.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 13

    Some have folded their hands and done nothing in religious lines. These have let the ministers, and those that are in responsible positions, plan everything, think out everything, and do all the work which if taken hold of interestedly, would have been of the highest value to them. The ministers have been called upon to take part in all your business perplexities, and yet you wonder that the work of the ministry does not go forward with greater success. For Christ’s sake, let all who have the truth begin to come into line, and act intelligently, and show that they are not novices. That is what the Lord wants you to do. He wants you to act your individual part.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 14

    There is a work to be entered upon in every city, in every town. Now what are you going to do to help it forward? You are to obtain all the light and knowledge that you can. Our canvassers should take our health books with them, and read them. They will find that there is light in them, which they can present to the families they visit. And when they find persons sick, they can read something in those books that will do these persons good.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 15

    Many are going to work on this plan. God never sets a man to work, and then leaves him without putting any ideas into his mind. It was God that gave Daniel superior knowledge in all matters of difficulty; and the Lord gave him the power to obtain that education that placed him on the highest platform of education, above the astrologers and magicians in all the realm of mighty Babylon. Now, what is God going to do for every diligent searcher for truth? You see what He gave to Daniel. Daniel would not touch the king’s meat. Who of us are eating meat today? We should not do it. God has given you those things that will make you healthy. I beg of you, do not put corpses on your tables. There is enough that you can live upon without this.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 16

    What does meat eating do? It creates animalism in the human agent. It strengthens the animal propensities, and these are already strong enough. You would better be strengthening the spiritual powers. God help us that we may, by self-denial and self-sacrifice, keep a clear brain and an understanding mind.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 17

    It is better to let sweet things alone. You do not need the sweet desserts that are often placed on the table. You want a clear mind to think after God’s order. Then you should come into line with health reform principles. There is a work to be done, and we want to unite with Dr. Kellogg in doing this work. He knows what he is talking about. We want to take the light from the Word of God, and form ourselves into companies to work for others. God will help us to do this work. This is what we want to do, “Let love be without dissimulation: abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another.” [Romans 12:9, 10.] That is Christian courtesy. If we have this courtesy, we will hold our temper.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 18

    There is an abundance to eat. We do not believe in a poverty-stricken diet; but we want to eat those things that will not corrupt in our stomachs and sour our tempers. It is bad eating and sour stomachs that make men who are called Christians act unreasonably. They get a little mote of difficulty before their mind’s eye and will exalt that mote to a mountain, and then the mountain of eternal spiritual advantages that ought to be exalted will become a molehill. That is the way the enemy wants it to be; but we do not want to work in such a way. Let us transpose the whole matter. Eat good, wholesome food; sweeten up in your disposition.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 19

    There is a work, a large work, to be done. There is a world to save, a world to put on the right track. What have you been doing these years with the light that God has been flashing upon your pathway? Are you of those who are “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”? [Verse 11.] Have you been keeping this idea in view: soon I must meet these men in the judgment and learn the effect of my speech upon them? If we have the truth, we must let the light shine upon the pathway of others.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 20

    Are you “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer”? [Verse 12.] You cannot do that unless you have a good, sweet stomach. With a sour stomach you are thinking all the time, O dear, how my stomach hurts me! What is the matter? If you had thought just a little earlier, and eaten the right things, you would have avoided the difficulty. Let us all be temperate. It is our duty to be cheerful. We are not to be like a band marching along with a slow and mournful tread. That is not our place. What we want is to rejoice in hope.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 21

    You can go to all the houses around you, to the high as well as to the lowly, and find access. The souls of the higher classes are just as hungry for the truth of God as the very lowliest among us. We must get together and organize for service, and see what we can do to work these cities, and God will give us wisdom. God will give us strength for this work if we continue instant in prayer. The light of heaven will shine into our minds and hearts.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 22

    “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” [Verse 13.] That is the work of the gospel, missionary work; and that is just the work that every one of us should be intelligent in doing. What kind of influence do you think such work will have upon unbelievers? They will say, These men live the things they teach. They carry out just what they believe.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 23

    “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” [Verse 14.] “Oh,” you say, “when they abuse me, I must tell them what I think of them.” But that is cursing. Better not to be talking your words, and pouring on to men all the venom there is in you. That is cursing; you do not want to do that.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 24

    “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” [Verses 15-18.]16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 25

    I want to say right here, from the light which God has given me, there is a solemn accountability that rests upon you who for years have had the light on health reform. What have you been doing? Have you been living it out to the letter? Our sanitariums are to represent health reform. They are to place before their patients the very best kind of food which will be for their health. If you expect to do your patients good, provide simple food, and do not tempt them with sweet pies and puddings which will place them where it will take more than one or two baths and fomentations to overcome the evil effects of that which you placed before them to eat. We want to teach the people all these things. Teach them in every place, that faith and works must harmonize.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 26

    The Lord calls upon you to show your colors. Stand as eternal health reformers, and do not be in such a condition that when you are asked if you are a health reformer, you will blush for shame. No, you want to say, “Certainly, I am a health reformer in every respect, and I want to help others to be health reformers.” This work is the right hand of the gospel. It is this health reform, this healthful living, that is clearing the way for us right to the hearts of thousands who have nearly killed themselves with their improper diet. Now let us begin to save them.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 27

    There are large interests in New York City. New York embraces a large territory, and it is a great missionary field. It would be wise to have New York proper worked as a separate conference. It will require a much larger outlay of means than is now anticipated. If New York proper should be worked separately from other territories and interests, we can make a specialty of this field, and more will be accomplished. Much confusion will also be avoided.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 28

    There is such a thing as workers getting in one another’s way, and losing time in making preparations to do something that ought to be done properly. The best time to work New York City is now, just now; and let the path be made as straight as possible for the work to be done. At the same time, let all be interested in every interest created in adjoining localities.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 29

    Those working New York proper should have special plans by which to work that field, and the general working forces should unite in building up the general interests.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 30

    Greater New York must stand in a different relation to the General Conference than the surrounding territory, and will have to be considered in a different light as far as missionary work is concerned. New York is a world of itself, and should have, in some respects, a different management from that of the surrounding localities.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 31

    God has His appointed agencies for the enlargement of our circle of influence, and for the increasing of the number of workers who will be missionaries indeed, laborers for the saving of the souls of their fellow men. These should set no boundaries to limit the sphere of their labors. The Christian church will ever meditate advance moves; it will ever be educating workers for further conquests for Christ. It should ever be moving on and on, that the truth may extend to all parts of the globe.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 32

    How did Paul and Barnabas labor? They visited every place where they could get an entrance, and they had success in the saving of souls to Jesus Christ. After a large territory was worked, they visited the churches which they had planted, and then returned to Antioch, the place from which they had been recommended by prayer and counsel for the work.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 33

    In the same way the work is to be carried now. Let those preparing to be laborers study the fourteenth chapter of Acts. Let them become familiar with this whole chapter, for those who shall become laborers together with God in these last days will realize experiences similar to those recorded in verse 19. “There came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul (who had so recently refused to be worshiped as a god), drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch.” [Verses 19-21.]16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 34

    Thus they fulfilled the commission given in (Matthew 28:19, 20): “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Their special work was, “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22-28. These experiences were of great value to the churches.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 35

    The Lord would have had New York, with all its surrounding localities and cities, worked many years ago. And now that the opportunity is more plainly revealed, in all localities, in every church, hearts should be drawn out and connected with the progress of the gospel message. In all the neglected parts of the vineyard hearts should be thrilled with a genuine, living experience. And now that there is a great work started, all must regard with interest every movement of the church. The churches in different parts of Greater New York are now to feel their sacred, God-given responsibilities. The word of the Lord is for this wide missionary field to be faithfully worked, and every vestige of criticism and faultfinding and separating of brethren to cease. Those who would cherish and foster prejudice are not to be listened to. Their prejudices, their thinking and speaking evil, are to be put away.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 36

    God will not tolerate any longer the spirit that has been controlling matters in our New York churches. The fields here are ready for the harvest. In whatever direction we look, our brethren must do their appointed work, which stretches to a large, unmeasured circumference. The work is to go forward under the direction of God, and those who wish to keep up the spirit of dissension should take themselves out of the way and let God’s work move onward. Let all understand that we are to now get rid of every cause of bitterness, and have a sanctified zeal for the saving of souls who are ready to perish. We need more of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 37

    Every church shall move in God’s order, following His plan of communion and Christian oneness. The whole body of believers is to be one in spirit. They are, collectively, the church of Jesus Christ. Standing in this widely extended missionary territory, the church should be calling the sinful to look at the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. This work is to go forward. Those who have taken upon themselves to carry a measuring line that they may measure all, and say how things shall go, may now be excused from this responsibility.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 38

    The cross of Calvary is to be uplifted; and all who will engage in drawing the people to the cross, enlarging the circumference of the circle of believers larger and larger, will have Christ, the Power of salvation, to second their efforts. Zeal for the power and glory of God is to be revealed.16LtMs, Ms 180, 1901, par. 39

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