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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 77, 1903

    The Color Line


    August 2, 1903 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript were used in 9T 213-221.

    I have much to say in regard to our relation to the colored people of the Southern states. So long were these people under the curse of slavery, so long were they treated as chattels, that how they should be now treated is a difficult problem to solve.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 1

    There is danger that if the color-line question is agitated before the people shall hear from the Bible the reasons of our faith, the minds of many will be closed against the truth. We must do all we possibly can to get the truth before the people. We do not want to close the avenues whereby we may gain access to people of every class.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 2

    We have no time to get into contention over the color line. What kind of a line could human beings make? They might lay many plans, which would be laid aside as impracticable to be worked out by the church. I have but one testimony to bear: Receive the Holy Spirit before you submit your plans for dealing with the color line. I can not see how, until then, any plans that you devise can be a success. When you receive the truth as it is in Jesus, you will find that the color line has adjusted itself. There will be a wonderful revival of gospel medical missionary work. The workers will all the time be receiving fresh, new ideas.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 3

    The great work before us all, as Christians, is to extend Christ’s kingdom as rapidly as possible, in accordance with the divine commission. The gospel is to advance from conquest to conquest, from victory to victory. “The greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High,” and they “shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever and ever.” [Daniel 7:27, 18.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 4

    It is Satan’s object to keep Christians occupied in little skirmishes among themselves. He knows that if they do not watch, the day of the Lord will come on them as a thief in the night.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 5

    On one occasion, while Christ was in the midst of His work of teaching and healing, one of the company assembled about Him said, “Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.” [Luke 12:13.] This man had witnessed Christ’s wonderful works. He had been astonished at the clearness of His comprehension, His superior judgment, and the fairness with which He viewed the cases brought to Him.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 6

    He had heard Christ’s stirring appeals and His solemn denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees. If words of such command could be spoken to this brother, he would not dare to refuse the aggrieved man his portion. He solicited Christ’s influence on his side. “Speak to my brother,” he said, “that he divide the inheritance with me.” [Verse 13.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 7

    The Holy Spirit was pleading with this man to become an heir of the inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. He had seen evidence of the power of Christ. Now the opportunity was his to speak to the great Teacher, to express the desire uppermost in his heart. But like the man with the muckrake in Bunyan’s allegory, his eyes were fixed on the earth. He saw not the crown above his head. Like Simon Magus, he valued the gift of God as a means of worldly gain.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 8

    The Saviour’s mission on earth was fast drawing to a close. Only a few months remained for Him to complete what He came to do in establishing the kingdom of His grace. Yet human greed would have turned Him from His work to take up the dispute over a piece of land. But Jesus was not to be diverted from His mission. His answer was, “Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?” [Verse 14.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 9

    He gave the man plainly to understand that that was not His work. He was striving to save souls. He was not to be turned aside from this to take up the duties of a civil magistrate.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 10

    How often today labor is forced upon the church that should never be allowed to enter the work of the gospel ministry!18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 11

    Again and again Christ had been asked to decide legal and political questions. But He refused to interfere in temporal matters. He knew that in the political world there were iniquitous proceedings and great tyranny. But His only exposure of these was the proclamation of Bible truth. To the great multitudes that thronged His steps He presented the pure, holy principles of the law of God and spoke of the blessing found in obeying these principles. With authority from on high He enforced the importance of justice and mercy. But He refused to become entangled in personal disputes about property.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 12

    Christ stood in our world as the Head of the great spiritual kingdom that He came to our world to establish—the kingdom of righteousness. His teaching made plain the ennobling, sanctifying principles that govern this kingdom. He showed that justice and mercy and love are the controlling powers in Jehovah’s kingdom.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 13

    Christ set an example that is to be followed by those who are today striving to extend the kingdom of righteousness. He laid down the principle that those who rule over men should be men under the control of the divine Ruler. They must be men who have learned how to control themselves, men who live quiet, peaceable lives in obedience to the commandments. Christ did not enter into the minutiae of the work of those who are given charge of His church; but if they are under the supervision of God, they will know what their work is and what course to pursue.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 14

    We shall be brought into close places in religious matters. Discord among church members is one of the most difficult things to deal with. Pride of opinion, selfishness, ambition, enfeeble spirituality. There are those who seek for as much power as possible. The difference between true and false conversion is continually being shown right in our institutions. Day by day character is being tested, and cases are being decided for eternity. The Lord Jesus is weighing moral worth.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 15

    Our Lord struck at the root of the affair that troubled this questioner, and of all similar disputes, saying, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” [Verse 15.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 16

    “And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” [Verses 16-21.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 17

    To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” [1 John 5:11, 12.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 18

    Wherefore He says, “Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” [Luke 12:15.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 19

    The Warfare Before Us

    God’s servants are to put on every piece of the Christian armor. We are wrestling with no human foe. God calls upon every Christian to enter the warfare and fight under His leadership, depending for success on grace and help from heaven. In God’s strength we are to go forward. Never are we to yield to Satan’s attacks. Why should we not, as Christian warriors, stand against principalities and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world? God calls upon us to press forward, using the gifts entrusted to us. Satan will place temptation before us. He will try by stratagem to overcome us. But in the strength of God we are to stand firm as a rock to principle.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 20

    In this warfare there is no release. Satan’s agents never pause in their work of destruction. Those who are in Christ’s service must watch every outpost. To save perishing souls from ruin is our object. This is a work of infinite greatness, and man cannot hope to obtain success in it unless he unites with the divine Worker.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 21

    From eternity Christ has been man’s Redeemer. Ever since the fall there has come to those uniting with Him in His great work the word, “Be not weary in well doing.” [2 Thessalonians 3:13.] “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 15:58.]18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 22

    The Christian is encouraged to show patient perseverance in carrying forward the work of the gospel ministry in connection with the medical missionary work. As he gains an experience in genuine religion, he obtains a spiritual knowledge that makes character.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 23

    The life of a true Christian is one continuous round of service. “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] Every day brings to the one in God’s service duties proportionate to his powers. His usefulness increases as, under the guidance of a supreme power, he performs these duties. The fulfilment of one duty makes us better prepared to take up another. Those who have a true sense of what is to be done will place themselves in the direct light of the Word of God, in union with His other working forces. Every day, clothed with the whole armor, he will go forth into the battle. With prayer and watchfulness and perseverance, he will labor, determined that the close of his life work shall not find him unprepared, not having done all that he could for the salvation of perishing souls.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 24


    If Christians were to act in concert, moving forward as one, under the direction of one power, for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the world.18LtMs, Ms 77, 1903, par. 25

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