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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 108, 1903

    Diary/Instruction Concerning Wages

    “Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

    August 15, 1902

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 186-187; Ev 636.

    Diary—Instruction Concerning Wages to be Paid to Laborers

    My heart is deeply stirred by the scenes which during the night have passed before me. In the night season I heard from some of my brethren propositions with which I cannot agree. The statements they made indicate that they are on the wrong track, that they have not an experience which will guard them from deception. I was grieved to hear from the lips of some of our brethren expressions that show neither faith in God nor loyalty to His truth. Propositions were made that, if carried out, would lead away from the straight and narrow way.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 1

    Some think that if higher wages were paid to men of superior talent, these men would remain among us; then more work would be accomplished, in a more thorough manner, and the cause of truth would stand on a more elevated platform.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 2

    Concerning this question I have received instruction from One who never errs. Suppose this plan were followed: Who, I ask, is competent to measure the genuine usefulness and the influence of his fellow workmen? No man is qualified to judge of another’s usefulness in the service of God.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 3

    The position or office a man may hold is not alone an indication of his usefulness in the cause of God. It is the development of a Christlike character through sanctification of the Spirit that will give him influence for good. In the estimation of God the degree of his faithfulness determines the value of his service.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 4

    God accepts the services of those only who are partakers of the divine nature. Without Christ man can do nothing. Love for God and man alone places human beings on vantage ground with God. Obedience to the divine commands enables us to become laborers together with God. Love is the fruit that is borne on the Christian tree, the fruit that is as the leaves of the tree of life for the healing of the nations.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 5

    To every man God has given his work. But some are not willing to take up the work that God appoints them. They take up a work that is beyond their capability and prove to be unskilful workmen.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 6

    Some think that their position gives them a right to command others. But no degree of authority can give a man rightful authority over another’s conscience. The Lord, our Lawgiver, is our Judge and our King whom we are to honor and obey.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 7

    A man is not to submerge his individuality in that of another. We are not to bind ourselves up with men or societies that disregard the law of God. Christ’s agents are not to unite with the satanic agencies. We are to stand firm in the service of God, pure and holy in principle. United with the Father and with Christ, we are to obey every requirement of the Word, regardless of consequences.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 8

    We are all servants of one Master. In the eyes of God all are equal, whatever service they render, if they do their work faithfully. To every worker God will give the reward that rightfully belongs to him.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 9

    The talents that God entrusts to His workmen are to be traded upon. In the parable the master commended all who had improved their talents. He pronounced the same blessing upon the one who had faithfully traded with the two talents as upon the one to whom had been given the five talents. “Well done,” the master said, “thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” [Matthew 25:21.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 10

    Talents are given to men that they may improve on them. Some receive one gift, others another. In the twelfth chapter of Romans, the various gifts are spoken of. These gifts are to be blended as threads to form a perfect pattern. We are all to be members of one body, under one Head, Christ Jesus.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 11

    The New Life

    Not one thread of selfishness is to be drawn into the pattern of our lives. At conversion, self dies. As the truth is received, a new life of heavenly origin is imparted. The principles of the new life are to be brought into the daily experience, and every man is to seek to understand his place in the Lord’s work. He who has experienced the new birth is dead to his old sinful, self-indulgent character. His life purposes are changed. To him it is said:18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 12

    “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: ... but now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth: lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” [Colossians 3:1-6, 8-11.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 13

    There is to be a clear distinction between those who serve God and those who serve Him not; between those who honor Him by keeping His commandments and those who are disobedient. If we have respect to the future reward, we will in this life be separate from those who disobey God. We need to be Bible students. No one need be in doubt as to the character he is to develop that he may make his calling and election sure.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 14

    “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. ... Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” [Verses 12-25.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 15

    Some lift up their soul unto vanity, seeking for the supremacy. They accept as truth the suggestions of Satan. Those who, notwithstanding the blessings God has given them, fail to honor and reverence God and His truth, who do not openly proclaim their allegiance to Him, have forfeited their right to God’s blessings, and the Lord cannot work in harmony with them.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 16

    Those who truly believe in the Word of God will say, “Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation: on Thee do I wait all the day.” [Psalm 25:1-5.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 17

    What a precious privilege is ours—that of learning from the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Teacher, and of forming our characters according to His example!18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 18

    “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” [Verses 8-10.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 19

    The Holy One has given rules to govern the conduct of His servants. These rules are not the result of human devisings. They form a standard to swerve from which is sin. Those who do not give the will of God the first place in their lives turn aside from the principles of holiness that we are every one to respect and obey. Whatever position a man may occupy, the Lord cannot abide with him unless he respects the commands of God, walking before Him with a humble and contrite spirit.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 20

    Christ’s Example of Self-denial

    Christ is the Light, the Life, the Joy of His people. Those who are members of His church are those who are building on the solid Rock. Let us consider His example of self-denial.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 21

    He gave His whole life as a sacrifice. He was the Commander of the heavenly hosts. Yet He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown; He hid His rightful dignity, that He might serve the fallen race. Clothing His divinity with humanity, He came to a world seared and marred with the curse. With His human arm He encircled our race, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the infinite God. He might have come to our world attended and honored by the heavenly host. But had He appeared in the fulness of His glory, no man could have looked upon Him.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 22

    Our Saviour was of humble parentage. His character, not His birth was to bear witness to His mission. He must take up the work of character building, as must every other child and youth.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 23

    To the humble shepherds the first announcement of the birth of the Messiah was made. “The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Luke 2:9-14.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 24

    From earliest years to manhood, Christ lived a life that was a perfect pattern of humility and industry and Obedience. He was always thoughtful and considerate of others, always self-denying. He came bearing the signature of heaven, not to be ministered unto, but to minister.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 25

    His education began in His earliest years. Early in His life He began to understand His position and His work. Even in His childhood He was a teacher. Study His life during His ministry; see how He worked. He chose as His disciples, to be co-laborers with God, poor, illiterate fishermen.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 26

    The unselfish life of Christ is an example to all. His character is a pattern of the characters we may form if we follow on in His footsteps.18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 27

    “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee. And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” [Hebrews 2:9-18.]18LtMs, Ms 108, 1903, par. 28

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