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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16 (1901) - Contents
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    Ms 111, 1901

    Sermon/“I beseech you therefore ...”

    Sanitarium Chapel, St. Helena, California

    October 19, 1901

    Portions of this manuscript are published in VSS 392; UL 306. +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.

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye 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.” [Romans 12:1, 2.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 1

    There is something for every individual to prove. The rule by which it is to be proved is given in these verses. In this probationary time it is the privilege of everyone to come into right relation to God and to gain a living experience, thus proving what is the will of God.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 2

    Those who fully understand their Christian duty will not be worldly minded, or cherish worldly idols. All may work in co-operation with God as laborers together with Him. He alone can renew the mind. The most solemn appeals that can be made to a congregation do not impress the hearts of those whose minds are trivial. A shrug of the shoulder, a movement of the lips, an expression of the countenance, often does more harm to others than would outspoken words of contempt. We should conduct ourselves so carefully that we shall not hinder the progress of any one who is seeking to develop a character after the divine similitude.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 3

    “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. For 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.” [Verses 3-5.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 4

    We are in this world to be a help and a blessing to one another, uniting with Christ Jesus in restoring the moral image of God in man. This is our work. In order to do it, we must learn of Christ. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] In this promise there are no “ifs” or “ands.” Those who have experience in wearing Christ’s yoke of restraint and obedience know what it means to have perfect peace and rest in Him.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 5

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” [Psalm 1:1, 2.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 6

    We should become acquainted with the laws of Christ’s kingdom, which are God-given safeguards. “They are your life,” He says. [Deuteronomy 32:47.] If we break through this wall of protection which has so mercifully been put around us, we expose ourselves to the attacks of Satan. By disobeying the laws of God, we co-operate with the enemy, placing ourselves where he can work through our minds.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 7

    Murmuring, intemperance, tumults, wars, and all other manifestations of sin that have ever been seen on the face of the earth, have been caused by men who have ventured to transgress the laws of Christ’s kingdom.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 8

    If we only knew what is for our eternal interest, not another day would any of us be transgressors of the law of Jehovah. Our only safety is in keeping the mind in harmony with God, availing ourselves of the safeguards that He has provided. We shall never fully realize the advantages we have gained by keeping His laws, until the gates of the New Jerusalem are swung back on their glittering hinges, and the nations that have kept the truth shall enter in to enjoy eternal peace and comfort.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 9

    Does the man who meditates on the law of God day and night, wear a woebegone expression, complaining, murmuring, and fretting, as if there were no pleasure in serving the Lord? Let us see:16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 10

    “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” [Psalm 1:3-5.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 11

    In obedience there is peace and consolation. Holy angels are round about the obedient to keep them in the narrow way. Many who claim to be children of God are in trouble and perplexity. If they were linked with Christ, the light of heaven would shine into the chambers of the mind; and they would have a peace that the world can neither give nor take away.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 12

    In the third chapter we read: “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” The Lord kept him all through the night season. “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.” [Verses 1-6.] His confidence was in God.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 13

    In the next chapter, the psalmist says: “There be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” [Psalm 4:6-8.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 14

    In the fifth Psalm, we read: “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.” [Verses 1-8.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 15

    Are not these very comforting passages to read to the sick and dying? In the treasure house of God’s Word are most precious assurances for those who are in distress. All these promises are given for our encouragement and consolation. On them we can rely.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 16

    After you have done all you can to relieve the afflicted, co-operating with God by using the means He has given for the restoration of health, it is your privilege to commit the cases of your patients to Him. During His earthly ministry He was a mighty Healer. Today He is the same compassionate Physician.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 17

    When I have been expected to speak to many people, at times I have felt that it was impossible for me to appear day after day before great congregations. But I have tried to place myself physically in right relation to God. Then I have said to Him, “I have done all I can do, Lord, using Thine own means, and now I ask for the special blessing which Thou alone canst give to sustain me.” With trembling steps I have walked into the desk to speak to assembled thousands; but the moment I have stood before the congregation, the Spirit of God has always come to me with strengthening power.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 18

    Often I said to my husband while he was with me, “If only I could have the assurance beforehand, how much good it would do me.” He would answer, “God has never failed to bless you the moment you rise to speak; so whatever may be your feelings, you must put your trust in Him, hanging your helpless soul on His promises.” This I have tried to do. I have learned that we must act our part, co-operating with God. He gives strength for every duty.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 19

    Those who work in our sanitariums have special need of a living Christian experience. Let none ever encourage the patients to look to you, or lead them to think that your mind will help their mind; but point them to the One who can help and strengthen them. Teach them to look to Jesus Christ, who taketh away the sin of the world. Encourage them to elevate their minds to God, by faith taking hold of the Mighty One. He is able to fashion their characters after the similitude of a beautiful, desirable, substantial palace. When you represent Christ to others in this way, you are imparting a power, a strength, that is of value; for it comes from above.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 20

    In the second chapter of first Peter we read: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth him shall not be confounded.” [Verses 1-6.] Let us feed on the Word of God. It will give us a wonderful experience.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 21

    “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” [Verses 7, 8.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 22

    When reading the next verse, let us notice whether God’s people engage in foolish amusements and worldly entertainments, or whether they have something higher and grander to contemplate—something that will hold them up, comforting them in sickness and sorrow: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [Verse 9.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 23

    Christ is the light of the world. When He shines into our hearts, we reflect His light to others, thus making sunshine all about us. We must have the light that He alone can give. He will not disappoint us in our expectations. He desires us to increase in faith, in confidence, in knowledge. This we may do by praying to Him, in faith taking hold of His strength. His promise is, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” [Isaiah 27:5.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 24

    Heaven is nearer to earth than many realize. In his dream, Jacob was shown that the base of the ladder extending heavenward was firmly planted on the earth. If it lacked a foot or even an inch of reaching the earth, it could do us no good. It must stand firmly on the earth. The topmost round reaches to the highest heaven, and above is God Himself. The light of His glory floods the threshold of heaven and shines on every round of the ladder. This ladder is a representation of Christ. The rounds represent His merits. Grasping round after round, we may continue climbing until we reach the highest round and step off into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 25

    I am glad that we know something about this ladder of shining brightness and understand what it represents. Jacob saw angels of God ascending and descending, ministering to the needs of the children of men. When a person of intelligence refuses to be led by the Spirit of God, the heavenly angels can do naught for him. But in our sinfulness everyone of us may by faith lay hold of Christ, saying, “Thou art my Redeemer; Thou wilt save me, even me.”16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 26

    While journeying through the wilderness, the children of Israel did not realize the countless dangers by which they were surrounded. They became so rebellious, often murmuring, often withdrawing themselves from the influence of the Spirit of God, that the Saviour was compelled to remove His protecting hand, permitting the fiery serpents which infested the wilderness to come into the camp. Great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 27

    Throughout the encampment there was terror and confusion. In almost every tent were the dying or the dead. None were secure. Humbling themselves before God, the people began to call for Moses—the man whom only a little while before they had accused of being their worst enemy, criticizing him in a way that reflected on the wisdom of God. They plead with Moses to pray for them, that the plague of the serpents might be removed.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 28

    Moses was commanded by God to make a serpent of brass resembling the living ones, and to elevate it among the people. All who looked to this uplifted serpent were perfectly restored. The people well knew that there was no virtue in the serpent of brass itself, but that it was a symbol of Christ. God alone was able to heal them. Yet they were required to show their faith in the provision which He had made.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 29

    “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” even so was “the only begotten Son of man lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [John 3:14, 15.] Christ has said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” [John 12:32.] Just as those who looked to the brazen serpent in the wilderness were healed, so may we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and be saved. Continually we should behold Him who gives spiritual health, spiritual power. There is no safety in allowing the mind to be drawn from Him. We must be conformed to His image. Salvation, eternal life, a home in the kingdom of God—these blessings are worth striving for. Christ has done everything on His part, even giving His life to redeem us. It now rests with us whether we will indeed believe in Him and by living faith accept His sacrifice in our behalf.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 30

    Are you standing on the side of the world, or on the side of Christ? Of what value would the whole world be to me, with all the gold and silver that could be heaped together? Of what value would it be to you? My span of life is nearly ended. Many, many of my early associates are now in the grave. All that remains of our once large family is one of my sisters—and she is feeble. God has given me strength. He is the health of my countenance. Every morning I rejoice in Him. I know I have committed the keeping of my soul to Him, as unto a faithful Creator; and I know He has never failed me. If you place your trust in Him, the Lord will also give to every one of you His strength, His grace, His salvation.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 31

    When someone asks you how you are feeling, do not complain and murmur and try to think of something mournful to tell them to gain their sympathy; but grasp them by the hand, saying, “Praise God! Good is the Lord, and greatly to be praised! I love Him, because He first loved me.” Let your conversation be cheerful and hopeful. Do not talk discouragingly, telling your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings, for the devil delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects you are glorifying the enemy. Talk faith and hope and courage, thus glorifying God.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 32

    Instead of gossiping, thus creating mischief, let us tell of the matchless power of Christ, and speak of His glory, thus magnifying and lifting up the Lord God of hosts, and training ourselves to sing the song of victory in the kingdom of glory. By beginning to sing songs of triumph and thanksgiving now, we may prepare ourselves to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb when we meet on the sea of glass.16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 33

    The Lord will be with us during this life, if we allow ourselves to be led by His <Holy> Spirit and do not neglect to glorify His name. We should bring as much of heaven as possible into this life. The light of heaven shining into the heart will be imparted in words of pleasantness, in deeds of kindness, to those who are near us. Having acquainted ourselves with God, when He comes we will be able to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” [Isaiah 25:9.]16LtMs, Ms 111, 1901, par. 34

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