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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Lt 155, 1902

    Arthur, Brother and Sister [Jesse]

    St. Helena, California

    September 5, 1902

    Portions of this letter are published in CH 302-303; ML 49, 250, 340; TDG 257; 7MR 151. +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.

    Dear brother and sister Arthur,—

    I did not suppose that it would be so long before I fulfilled my promise to write to you. I have been thinking of the question that was agitating your mind in regard to wages. You suggest that if we paid higher wages, we could secure men of ability to fill important positions of trust. This might be so, but I should very much regret to see our workers held to our work by the wages they receive. There are needed in the cause of God workers who will make a covenant with Him by sacrifice, who will labor for the love of souls, not for the wages they receive.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 1

    Your sentiment regarding wages, my much-respected brother, is the language of the world. Service is service, and one kind of work is as essential as the other. To every man is given his work. There is stern, taxing labor to be performed, labor involving disagreeable taxation and requiring skill and tact. In the work of God, the physical as well as the mental powers are drawn upon, and both are essential. One is as necessary as the other. Should we attempt to draw a line between mental and physical work, we would place ourselves in very difficult positions.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 2

    The experiment of giving men high wages has been tried in the publishing institutions. Some men have grasped high wages, while others, doing work just as severe and taxing, have had barely enough to sustain their families. Yet their taxation was just as great, and often men have been over-worked and over-wearied, while others, bearing not half the burdens, received double the wages. The Lord sees all these things, and He will surely call men to account; for He is a God of justice and equity.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 3

    Those who have a knowledge of the truth for this time should be pure and clean and noble in all their business transactions. None among God’s servants should hunger and thirst for the highest place as director or manager. Such positions are fraught with great temptation.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 4

    Our nurses are encouraged to pledge themselves to work for certain parties for a certain sum. They bind themselves to serve thus and so, and afterward they are dissatisfied. It is necessary that more equity be shown in dealing with our nurses. There are among us intelligent, conscientious nurses, who work faithfully, and at all times. It is nurses such as these that we need, and they should receive better wages, so that should they fall sick, they would have enough money enough laid by to enable them to have a rest and a change. Then again, often the parents of these nurses practice great self-denial to make it possible for their children to take the nurses’ course. It is only right that when these children have received their education, they should be given sufficient remuneration to enable them to help their parents, should they need help.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 5

    These things are not weighed as carefully as they should be.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 6


    Unreserved Consecration

    “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:25-28.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 7

    This takes in all there is of the human being—will power, speech, hearing, sight, physical strength, time, influence. All the powers of mind and body are to be consecrated to the Master’s service.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 8

    In this Scripture the conditions upon which we may gain eternal life are plainly outlined. No one who truly loves and fears God will continue to transgress the law in any particular. When man transgresses, he is under the condemnation of the law, and it becomes to him a yoke of bondage. Whatever his profession may be, he is not justified, which means pardoned.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 9

    “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] Through obedience comes sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. This sanctification is a progressive work, an advance from one stage of perfection to another.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 10

    Speech is a wonderful talent. O what a blessing are pleasant, sympathetic words—words that uplift and strengthen. No one, when asked a question, should answer abruptly, but kindly and tenderly. The heart of the one he is answering may be sorely grieved by a hidden sorrow that may not be told. This he may not know; nevertheless, his words should always be kind and sympathetic. By a few helpful words or by a word of prayer, he may remove a heavy load.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 11

    Christ declared that where two or three are gathered together in His name, He is in the midst of them, to bless them and to answer their petitions. [Matthew 18:20.] He is our burden-bearer. He never repulses any one. With sympathetic love and tender compassion, without trace of harshness, He meets us in our necessities.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 12

    The angels of heaven look on to see how Christ, the Great Physician, meets the bruised, afflicted soul. They wait to take the things of God and show them to him. Armed with the weapons of love, the Saviour works with sympathetic helpfulness. By the gentle touch of grace, He changes the sinner into a saint. By His manner of working, He shows the difference between antagonism and compassion. With unerring patience, He expels from the soul all disturbing elements. Enmity and unbelief are changed to confidence and faith.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 13

    This is the service that Christ requires of all who believe in Him. God has chosen poor, deformed, sinful human beings as His agencies. By their transformation, the Saviour of sinners is to be lifted up before those ready to perish.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 14


    The Gift of the Spirit

    Christ declared that after His ascension, He would send to His church, as His crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit—the soul of His life, the efficacy of His church, the light and life of the world. With His Spirit, Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power to take away sin.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 15

    God has instructed me to tell you and all His people to be very careful not to resist the working of the Holy Spirit—the Comforter that Christ sends. Fear to take the first presumptuous step in resistance. When Christ spoke to the disciples of the Holy Spirit, He sought to uplift their thoughts and enlarge their expectations to grasp the highest conception of excellence. Let us strive to understand His words. Let us strive to appreciate the value of the wonderful gift He has bestowed on us. Let us seek for the fulness of the Holy Spirit.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 16

    Judge Arthur, I see no other way for us than to heed the words of Christ, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] These words we must obey if we gain eternal life. The Majesty of heaven came to this world to teach us this lesson by a life of constant self-denial. Shall we not heed His instruction?17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 17

    In order to be saved, we must have a full and complete experience in the things of God. The atonement for sin has been made by the gift of the Son of the infinite God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] Let us show that we appreciate this gift. There is a higher life for God’s people than they have yet lived. It is the beholding of which John speaks that we need—the beholding of the virtues of the character of the One full of grace and truth. Then of us it can be said, “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [Verses 16, 12.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 18

    Christ had pledged Himself to renew the soul through the truth. His Word, received, eaten, lived, is our salvation. He declares, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. ... It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” [John 6:51, 53-55, 63.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 19

    “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” [John 1:11.] Shall this be said of those who have been given every opportunity to gain rich and abundant treasures of truth? Shall it be the mistake of your life and mine to be frivolous and careless and selfish, choosing a path of our own, not the path that Christ has marked out?17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 20


    The New Life in Christ

    To bring the sinner to Christ is the work of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. The Saviour is the divine Example, the perfection of holiness; and He fashions the soul anew. We are privileged to receive from Christ all the excellence necessary for perfection of character. But in order for us to obtain this excellence, we must show more self-denial, more self-sacrifice.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 21

    Christ has made every provision for us to be children of God. Oh, my heart says, Praise His holy name that of His fulness we can receive grace for grace. Let us strive, by receiving His Word, to reach the high standard of perfection. We are safe only when seeking the qualities that make us children of God, possessors of sanctified excellence. We are to be born again, born of God. This new birth makes us one in Christ. The new creature is a representation of Christ’s character.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 22

    There is a scriptural figure in which the soul is represented as being delivered from sin to receive the fashion of the new man, Christ Jesus. If we are born of the Spirit, there must be in our new life no diseased parts. We are required to live unto God. All our spiritual organs and faculties are to represent the new life. The spiritual life must be regenerated and restored in all its parts. This is necessary in order that the new life in Christ may be lived. No part of the diseased life is to remain. We are new beings in Christ. He diffuses sanctified activity through the whole structure, and in our new life we develop unselfishness in the service of God. All our impulses are from Him. Receiving His grace, we impart this grace to others, making known His virtue of character by self-denial and sacrifice, by meekness and lowliness, by good words and works. In the life there is seen no deception, no falsehood. The words spoken are faithful, trustworthy words, which mean all that they express. The life is not a falsehood—a claim to represent Christ and at the same time a denial of Him.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 23

    “He shall glorify Me.” [John 16:14.] In these words Christ declares the crowing work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit glorifies Christ by making Him the object of supreme regard, and the Saviour becomes the delight, the rejoicing of the human agent in whose heart is wrought this transformation.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 24

    Brother and Sister Arthur, repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ are the fruits of the renewing power of the grace of the Spirit. Repentance represents the process by which the soul seeks to reflect the image of Christ to the world. In the prayer that Christ offered just before His crucifixion, He said, “Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: ... and now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 25

    “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” [John 17:11-19.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 26

    As surely as God has ever spoken through me, He is speaking through me when I say that many who now believe the truth, or are supposed to believe it, have a spurious experience. They sin and do not repent; therefore they live their own sinful life, not the life of Christ.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 27

    My dear brother and sister, we cannot afford to take this position. We must take so firm and decided a stand for our Lord that the world will see in our lives an exemplification of true Christianity.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 28

    The work of John the Baptist is our work. Of him we read, “Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” [Mark 1:2, 3.] This is indeed our work, to prepare the way of the Lord for Christ’s coming by bearing a fruitful witness. We are to bear a clear-cut testimony to the world in our life, in the words we speak and the deeds that we do. By revealing the principles of righteousness in our dealings with one another, we are to proclaim the message, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 29

    The conflict is before us. The only safety for any one of us now is to be one with Christ in God. We are to strive to enter in at the strait gate. But this gate does not swing loosely on its hinges. It will not admit doubtful characters. We must now strive for eternal life with an intensity that is proportionate to the value of the prize before us. It is not money of lands or position, but the possession of a Christlike character, that will open to us the gates of Paradise. It is not dignity, it is not intellectual attainments, that will win for us the crown of immortality. Only the meek and lowly ones, who have made God their sufficiency, will receive this gift.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 30

    Our resources must come from heaven. The Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit revealed truth which, presented to the people, caused the conversion of five thousand souls in a day. In order for the message to go with power today, the Holy Spirit must confirm the word spoken. Jesus is magnified through His sons and daughters when He can impart to them the fulness of His Spirit.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 31

    Paul declared that neither Jewish learning nor Grecian eloquence could reach the mark of the high calling that is in Christ Jesus. The highest eloquence, the greatest physical strength, cannot give a man power to convict and convert souls. It is a heart-reception of the pure principles of the gospel that makes him an honor to God and an influence that wins souls to Christ. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6.] Only thus can human agencies prevail against satanic agencies. Without God’s aid, human might and strength have no more power than the wind that blows to impress aright the souls of men. The breath of God must be breathed into the soul before it can be filled with power.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 32

    Does not God, my dear brother and sister, teach us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord? The knowledge of God and of Christ is the sum of all science. To know God and Christ—this is eternal life. To this knowledge all other knowledge is subordinate. Incorporated with the life, it fits us for heaven. All other knowledge, however high or broad, unless charged with this knowledge, is valueless in God’s sight.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 33

    How long will it be before we yield our wills to the will of God? It took a fearfully severe experience to lead Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge Jehovah as the supreme Ruler. God is waiting for us to give ourselves to him. Then He will mold and fashion the perverse human mind into His own likeness, taking the things of Christ and showing them to us. And as we behold the beauty of the Saviour’s character, we shall grow more and more like Him, until at last God can speak to us the words, “Ye are complete in Him.” [Colossians 2:10.]17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 34

    To create the soul anew, to bring light out of darkness, love out of enmity, holiness out of impurity, is the work of Omnipotence alone. The work of the Infinite, as He engages, by the consent of human beings, to make the life complete in Christ, to bring perfection to the character, is the science of eternity.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 35

    What is the honor conferred upon Christ? Without employing any compulsion, without using any violence, He blends the will of the human subject to the will of God. This is the science of all true science; for by it a mighty change is wrought in mind and character—the change that must be wrought in the life of every one who passes through the gates of the city of God.17LtMs, Lt 155, 1902, par. 36

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