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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 46, 1902

    Unity a Sign of Discipleship


    March 31, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 104.

    “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.” [Luke 10:27.] Perfect love can proceed only from a perfect heart; therefore the state of the heart is shown by the love manifested in the life. We need the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 1

    The prayer of Christ is a lesson full of instruction that is infinite in importance. In this prayer He said: “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” [John 17:3.] Through Christ humanity is connected with divinity. God expects human agencies to be in perfect harmony in the great, grand work of perfecting the love of God in their own hearts and revealing His love to others. By the cords of love they are to draw their fellow men into sacred union with Christ. When all believers, united by Christian fellowship, exemplify their love for one another, they evidence to the world that they are partakers of the divine nature. Thus they reveal the truth of God.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 2

    God is love. The love of the Father and the Son is an attribute of every believer. The Word of God is the channel through which divine love is communicated to man. God’s truth is the medium by which the intellect is reached. The Holy Spirit is given to the human agent who works in co-operation with divine agencies. It transforms mind and character, enabling man to endure as seeing Him who is invisible. Perfect love can be enjoyed only through the belief of the truth and the reception of the Holy Spirit.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 3

    “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth.” [Verse 17.] “Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.” [Psalm 119:151.] “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [John 17:19-21.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 4

    Christ prayed that His disciples might realize the importance of the love that He expressed by giving His life for the world. He desired them to understand something in regard to His infinite sacrifice. If they had more fully understood His self-sacrificing love, they would never have engaged in alienation and strife.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 5

    I urge all who claim to believe present truth to practice the truth. If they do this, they will have a stronger and more powerful influence for good. The world will see that the love expressed by believers is the central and controlling principle of Christ’s followers. Christlike love blends heart with heart. The truth draws men together. It brings into harmony and unity all who have an earnest, living faith in the Saviour. Christ designs those who believe in Him to develop and become strong by association with one another. All who work unselfishly in the Master’s service bear credentials to the world that God has sent His Son to this earth.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 6

    Although a company of Christians united in church capacity have not all the same talents, yet it is the duty of every one to work. Talents differ; but to every man is given his work. All are dependent upon Christ in God. He is the glorious Head of all grades and classes of people associated through faith in the Word of God. Bound together by a common belief in heavenly principles, they are all dependent on Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. He has created the principles that produce universal oneness, universal love. His followers should meditate upon His love. They should not stop short of reaching the standard set before them. If the principles of Christianity are lived, they will produce universal harmony and perfect peace. When the heart is imbued with the Spirit of Christ, there is no quarreling, no seeking for the supremacy, no striving to be reigning lords.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 7

    Our work in the service of God is to co-operate with Him in restoring harmony between men and the Creator. By the grace of God, we are influenced to consecrate heart, soul, strength, and mind to the fulfilment of His purpose in the great plan of redemption. As consecrated human agencies, we are to work with all the intensity of our God-given powers and influence. We are to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the crucified Redeemer. This means that we are to receive His words and repeat them; not as our words, but as His words—words that emanate from Him and flow through us to those who are thirsting after righteousness. We are to bear to the world the Word of God as leaves from the tree of life. All earthly ambitions and projects are of secondary importance. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33.] The same Teacher who gave this instruction in the sermon on the mount instructed Moses, who, speaking of the commandments of the Lord, said, “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.” [Deuteronomy 12:28.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 8

    In His sermon on the mount, Christ instructed the people concerning prayer. He told them that they were not to make their prayers a mere form or repetition of words, “When thou prayest,” He said, “enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which in in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward the openly.” [Matthew 6:6.] Every believer who offers such prayers to God will be rewarded openly. Blessing shall follow the earnest petition of the sincere Christian.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 9

    With how much strength would those who claim to believe the Word of God be endowed, if they would do just as the Captain of their salvation has told them to do. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” [Psalm 97:11.] I am instructed to say that there is a heaven of blessing awaiting the demand of the contrite and humble in heart. But is it praying to draw nigh to men and tell them all your weakness?—No! Draw nigh to God. Converse with One who will help you, One who will “pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:10.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 10

    Especially do those who are engaged in active service for the Master need to pray with the earnestness of spiritual soul-hunger. “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” [Matthew 6:7, 8.] Read the sixth chapter of Matthew until you can make a practical application of its meaning to yourself.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 11

    In this same Scripture the Lord’s prayer is given. Repeat this prayer every day. Open your hearts to Christ’s grace and power. Be assured that if you feel your need, the Author of the prayer will hear you as you pray: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” [Verses 9-13.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 12

    After giving this prayer, the Saviour declared, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” In this Scripture a condition is enjoined: “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” [Verses 14, 15.] This is a decided statement and should come home to every heart. It is a promise of forgiveness to those who forgive men their trespasses and a refusal of forgiveness to those who do not forgive men their trespasses.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 13

    The One in whom the Deity and humanity were united stood before the people and gave the instruction recorded in this Scripture. Who will hear His words? Continuing His discourse, He said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through, and steal; but lay up (mark the words) for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Verses 19-21.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 14

    “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” [Verse 22.] How important it is that every soul shall have clear, sanctified eyesight, to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood, selfishness and unselfishness, righteousness and idolatry. “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” [Verse 23.] It means very much to us individually whether our spiritual eyesight is clear and sanctified, or whether we have allowed the world to interpose between God and the soul’s eternal interest. Those who work in accordance with worldly theories and worldly policy cannot perceive the subtle working of Satan to becloud the spiritual discernment.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 15

    “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take not thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better that they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” [Verses 24-27.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 16

    Then Christ gave the object lesson of the lily, to teach His children to trust in Him. “Why take ye (anxious) thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow (nder the watchful eye of the great Master-artist); they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Verses 28, 29.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 17

    This illustration is a lesson on simplicity. If men and women professing to be in the service of Jesus Christ do not work with an eye single to God’s glory, they become confused and allow eternal interests to be eclipsed by things of minor importance. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” [Verse 30.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 18

    This lesson is for every human being. It is not outward adornment that gives worth of character. God desires us to clothe ourselves in modest apparel. By devoting precious time to dress, we sacrifice golden opportunities for doing the work that He has given us to do. He wants us to receive the riches of the grace of the Holy Spirit and to have clear spiritual eyesight, that we may see the value of a meek and quiet spirit, rather than to seek to be arrayed in a worldly style of dress that to the unsanctified eye will appear attractive and beautiful. So He says: “Therefore take no (anxious) thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these (necessary) things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verses 31-33.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 19

    There is a great lack of spiritual discernment, because the unsanctified eyesight is indulged. The desire for outward display leads many to spend for self-adornment precious time that should be spent in searching the Scriptures. Divine truth, the Word of the living God, is the medium through which He reaches the intelligence of man. Through the Word peace and joy are offered to the inhabitants of the earth to take the place of the unrest and sorrow in their disquieted minds.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 20

    Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. In the Scriptures are treasures that man is to possess. These should be prayed for as present and eternal necessities. The divine truths of God’s Word will be revealed to those who will to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, ever looking to Him with the eye of faith. To those who understandingly believe the Word and eat the Word, it becomes life and salvation, circulating through the whole spiritual life-experience as the blood circulates through the human body. We should have an eye single to discern the value of the Word of the living God. It is of eternal consequence to practice its teachings.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 21

    None of us can ever understand a person with whom we are not in sympathy. To believe that Christ is our Friend is everything to us who profess to follow Him. Shall we not cease looking to human beings and exalting those who are in positions of trust? If you desire your fellow men to remain pure and sincere, do not lean heavily upon them, but lean wholly upon Jesus Christ. He can bear you and carry all your burdens.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 22

    “My son,” saith Wisdom, “if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee, ... then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” [Proverbs 2:1, 5.] The promise is, “He shall know of the doctrine.” [John 7:17.] Will all turn their eyes Christward? Then those who have so largely devoted their time to outward display will be purified from the dross of frivolity. If any man willeth to do God’s will, says the divine Teacher, “he shall know of the doctrine.”17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 23

    Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the mind is enlightened to comprehend the deep truths of the Word of God, that to a diverted mind full of worldly devising would for ever remain a mystery, an offense, and a stone of stumbling, because the heart is not imbued with the Holy Spirit and cannot discern the rich treasures of the mysteries of godliness.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 24

    The talent of speech is a most valuable one. When our faces are turned Christward, we receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The Son of God came to the earth with a life- and light-giving message to bear to all that were nigh and all that were afar off. By all people the Herald of truth was to be heard. God draws nigh unto those who draw nigh to Him. When men and women turn to Him, their prayers are indited by the Holy Spirit. As they come to Him with humbleness of mind, confessing their sins and praying sincerely for help, there is a fulfilment of the promise, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 27:5.] “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” [Hosea 6:3.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 25

    Every one of us needs to do his best. We shall gain an experience of much value, if we take heed to the instruction of God’s Word, lest at any time we should let it slip from the memory. We should carefully treasure the instruction given by Christ in the Word, from the beginning of the Old Testament to the close of the New Testament. Let us heed His instruction: “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him?” “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.” [Hebrews 2:2, 3; 3:1, 2.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 26

    In the Word are exhortations and warnings. Paul writes: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation, wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” [Ephesians 4:1-6.] Let all read the fourth chapter of Ephesians, receiving and putting into practice the instruction given. This Scripture is positive and decided. In it an abundance of light and grace is given. I exhort you to study this chapter and to work to bring unity into the church. There should be no half-way work done in establishing unity among professing Christians.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 27

    Our Lord Jesus Christ enjoins us to be united with one another: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34, 35.] “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [John 17:17-21.] This is the great object that is to be ever before us. The unity that He prayed might exist among His disciples gives evidence to the world that God has sent His Son into the world.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 28

    “And the glory (character) which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know (by this heavenly attribute of unity, which is divested from all worldly policy and sentiment, and which represents a perfection of character) that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” [Verses 22-24.] “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” [Ephesians 5:29-32.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 29

    Will those who claim to believe the Word of God govern their speech and their spirit by these positive and encouraging words? If this instruction were acted upon, we should reach a higher standard, and our unity would have a convincing influence upon the world.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 30

    I speak to the members of every Seventh-day Adventist church: Will you not only be Bible readers, but will you practice the truth in love as it is Christ Jesus? In unity is strength. Will every believer be so humble that he is able to claim the promise of the High and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy? He says: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 31

    While I write, my heart is deeply moved. Brethren and sisters, will you heed the words of God? I must tell you that the reason for your lack of power is your lack of love for God, for your brethren, and for the souls ready to perish. Many professing Christians are in a worse spiritual condition than are worldlings; for unbelievers make no pretensions to godliness and piety. You have had an abundance of light, line upon line, precept upon precept; and yet you do not practice the virtues of Christ. Your words and actions put Him to open shame. Will you make a through reform?17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 32

    “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” What a longing soul-desire is expressed in these words! Will you read them, and yet continue to abuse the great privileges presented to you? “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” What entreaties are these to us, both as churches and as individuals! “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” [Ephesians 5:1-3.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 33

    Is it not time for an advance movement to be made? Is it not time for a transformation of character to take place? Will you not put away thoughtless words? Will you not cease to cast reflections upon those who do not deserve your censure? God will rebuke your wrathful, bitter feelings; for they are unjust, unholy. Shall it be said of you in the heavenly courts, that you read the Bible, but do not practice its teachings? Study the Bible, and bring into the practical life the principles that it contains. Let the Word of God have free course in your hearts. Thus God will be glorified.17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 34

    “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. ... Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” [Philippians 4:1, 8, 9.]17LtMs, Ms 46, 1902, par. 35

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