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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Lt 272, 1903

    Brn-Srs. Gathered in Council at Nashville

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    December 20, 1903

    This letter is published in entirety in The Southern Watchman, 01/19/1904. +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.

    My dear brethren and sisters,—

    I have an intense interest in the work in which the people of God are engaged. My prayer is that this work shall no longer be delayed and hindered. A great hindrance to the advancement of the work has been brought by church members who, though knowing the truth, have not been sanctified by the truth. It is through sanctification of the truth that we are enabled to appreciate the teachings of Christ, given to guide men and women in all the conduct of life.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 1

    The work of sanctification must begin in the home. It is God’s purpose that the families of His people shall be symbols of the family above. Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world. Many do not grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth because they fail of cultivating home religion.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 2

    In the family the spirit of criticizing and faultfinding should have no place. The peace of the home is too sacred to be marred by this spirit. But how often, when seated at the meal table, the members of the family pass round a dish of criticism, faultfinding, and scandal. Should Christ come today, would He not find many of the families who profess to be Christians cherishing the spirit of criticism and unkindness? The members of such families are unready to unite with the family above. I am instructed to say to them, “Prepare to meet thy God.” [Amos 4:12.] Discord in families leads to discord in the church. The unruly tongue creates mischief of all kinds.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 3

    God expects His children to use the talent of speech in a way that will honor the Saviour. Let the heart be cleansed from all evil thinking and evil speaking. Let this be put away as evil leaven that will produce contention, alienation, and strife. Let the unruly tongue be brought under the control of God.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 4

    The brotherhood that is the outworking of Bible religion is to be more manifestly revealed in the lives of God’s people today. In the family an education is to be given that will create a pure, elevating atmosphere. A high standard is ever to be kept uplifted. No harsh, passionate word is ever spoken without grieving the Lord Jesus and hurting the heart of speaker and hearer. From the Christian home all angry or trifling speeches will be excluded; for nothing of this kind finds entrance into the home above.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 5

    Parents, be sure to spend some time each day in private prayer, asking the Lord for wisdom, lest self-importance take possession of your hearts, and you give the talent of speech unto the control of satanic agencies. The members of the church are to be ever on their guard against unadvised words. Sound words, seasoned with the grace of Christ, will produce correct practices. In the home circle, generous, gracious, Christlike words are of more value than any earthly treasure.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 6

    Remember that your children will follow closely the example that in word and deed you set them. Live lives that will help them to prepare for translation into the courts above, when the last trump shall sound, and Christ shall come to gather His faithful ones to Himself. Do not neglect your children. They are your first care. The home is to be their first school. And in this school you yourselves are to learn lessons that will prepare you better to work for their salvation and for the salvation of others. These lessons will be of the highest value to you in your religious experience. As you labor successfully for your children,you are working out your own salvation, and God is working in you, to will and to do of His good pleasure.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 7

    Kindly, but firmly, correct every inclination to wrong that may appear in the lives of your children. But when you are obliged to correct a child, do not raise the voice to a sharp key, bringing into it that which will arouse the worst passions of the child’s heart. Do not lose your self-control. The parent who, when correcting a child, gives way to anger is far more guilty than the child.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 8

    Restrain every hasty speech that struggles for utterance. Before you speak that fretful, impatient word, stop and think of the influence that, if spoken, it will exert upon others.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 9

    Remember that the ears of children are quick to hear every word and to mark every intonation of the voice. Remember, too, that angels hear the words you speak. You are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Follow a course that will be an honor to Jesus, a course that will bring holy angels to your side. Let your home life be such that Christ can enter your dwelling as an abiding guest. Let it be such that people will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 10

    Husband and wife are to be closely united in their work in the home school. They are to be very tender and very guarded in their speech, lest they open a door of temptation through which Satan will enter to obtain victory after victory. They are to be kind and courteous to each other, acting in such a way that they can respect one another. Each is to help the other to bring into the home a pleasant, wholesome atmosphere. They should not differ in the presence of their children. Christian dignity is ever to be preserved.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 11

    To the man who is a husband and a father, I would say, Be sure that a pure, holy atmosphere surrounds your soul. As priest and house-band of your family, you are to learn daily of Christ. Never, never are you to show a tyrannical spirit in the home. The man who does this is working in partnership with satanic agencies. Bring your will into submission to the will of God. Do all in your power to make the life of your wife pleasant and happy. Take the Word of God as the man of your counsel. In the home live out the teachings of the Word. Then you will them live them out in the church and will take them with you to your place of business.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 12

    The principles of heaven will ennoble all your transactions. Angels of God will co-operate with you, helping you to reveal Christ to the world.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 13

    Necessarily, a large share of the training of the children falls to the mother. She is to teach her children from their babyhood the lesson of obedience. The reins of control are not to be placed in their hands. The children are to be taught to regard their mother, not as a slave, whose work it is to wait on them, but as a queen, who is to guide and direct them, teaching them line upon line, precept upon precept.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 14

    Mothers, however provoking your children may be in their ignorance, do not give way to impatience. Teach them patiently and lovingly. Be firm with them. Do not let Satan control them. Discipline them only when you are under the discipline of God. Christ will be victor in the lives of your children if you will learn of Him who is meek and lowly, pure and undefiled.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 15

    Parents, live the Christ life. Place yourselves where you can co-operate with God. There are many whose minds and hearts need to be ennobled and refined by the grace of heaven. Christianity is to preside in the heart and in the home. The counsel of God is to control in the home. Let us remember this and become familiar with the directions that He has given in His Word.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 16

    The Word of God is to be our lesson book. We are not merely to read it, and say that we believe the truth for this time. This profession must be accompanied by an earnest, faithful practice of the teachings of the Word of God. Under its hallowed power, the tenderest and most sanctified dispositions are to be developed in the home circle.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 17

    Let every one attend most critically to himself. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] Body and mind must be carefully and strictly dealt with, that unchristlike traits of character and tendencies to wrong may not bear sway. Unless a strict watch is kept over the heart, wrong principles will prevail in the life, and great unhappiness will be wrought. Every departure from righteousness becomes a force that works against the Lord Jesus. When right words and deeds are left out of the home life, there come in unchristlike words and deeds. Parents and children work at cross purposes with God. The family is placed where Christ will pronounce against it the woe pronounced against Chorazin and Bethsaida.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 18

    I appeal to parents to prepare themselves and their children to unite with the family above. Get ready, for Christ’s sake, get ready to meet your Lord in peace. Begin to work in your family on right lines. Get down to the root of the matter. Bring the truth into your homes, to sanctify and purify them. Do not keep it in the outer court. How blind many professing Christians are to their own interests! How utterly they fail to see what Christ would do for them were He admitted into their homes. Let Christians work as earnestly to win the crown of life as worldlings work to win earthly advantages, and the church of God will certainly move forward with power.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 19

    A deeper and more successful work will be done in the church when the families composing it stand in right relation to God. The church will then reap the advantage of the Christlike influence exerted in the homes of the members.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 20

    The Holy Spirit produces actions that are in harmony with the law of God. The regenerating work of the Spirit will be seen in families where painstaking efforts are put forth to manifest kindness, patience, and love. Almighty power is at work, preparing minds and hearts to submit to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, leading parents to sanctify themselves, that their children also may be sanctified.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 21

    The home in which the members are polite, courteous Christians exerts a far-reaching influence for good. Other families will mark the results attained by such a home and will follow the example set, in their turn guarding the home against satanic influences.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 22

    The angels of God will often visit the home in which the will of God bears sway. Under the power of divine grace such a home becomes a place of refreshing to worn, weary pilgrims. By watchful guarding, self is kept from asserting itself. Correct habits are formed. There is a careful recognition of the rights of others. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul stands at the helm, presiding over the whole household. Under the hallowed influence of such a home, the principle of brotherhood laid down in [the] Word of God is more widely recognized and obeyed.18LtMs, Lt 272, 1903, par. 23

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