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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 34, 1903

    The Two Great Principles of the Law


    April 27, 1903 [typed]

    Previously unpublished.

    A certain lawyer once came to Jesus with the question, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 10:25.] This is a very important question, one in which every soul should be deeply interested.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 1

    The lawyer had questioned Jesus for the purpose of calling forth from Him some expression whereby accusation might be brought against Him. He sought to entangle Him in His words. Surrounding Christ, waiting with bated breath to hear His reply, were the Pharisees, the scribes, and the rulers, eager to catch some word with which they might find fault.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 2

    But Jesus replied to the question by asking the lawyer, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” Being well acquainted with the Scriptures, he replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Verses 26, 27.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 3

    These words had been given to Moses to give to the children of Israel. We read in Deuteronomy, “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” [Deuteronomy 6:4, 5.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 4

    Of the words of the law, Moses said further, “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Verse 7.] Parents need to realize fully the responsibility resting upon them to teach their children to obey and reverence God’s law. Through the obedience of parents to this law, united with careful and thorough instruction, the children will be led to become loyal subjects of God’s kingdom.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 5

    Christ replied to the lawyer, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” [Luke 10:28.] By the very words of Scripture which he had quoted, the man stood condemned. His profession made it necessary for him to have a knowledge of the Scriptures. That knowledge if put into practice would be to him a pledge that he would not come short of eternal life. This is God’s covenant with man. Eternal life in the kingdom of God is only granted to those who observe the precepts of God.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 6

    “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and He added no more. And He wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.” [Deuteronomy 5:22.] This law was binding before Israel went down into Egypt. God’s commandments are not a yoke of bondage. Obedience brings a great blessing. The principles of God’s law, carried out in practical life, will bring men into harmony with his Maker, qualifying him to be received as a member of the heavenly family.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 7

    The first four commandments reveal the obligations of man to his God. The last six point out his duty to his fellow men.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 8


    All should study carefully the prayer given by Christ in the sixth chapter of Matthew. This prayer is just as valuable to Christ’s followers in these last days of earth’s history as it was to His disciples at that time.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 9

    “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.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 10

    Many of the human family know not what they should ask for as they ought. The Lord is kind and tender. He helps infirmities by giving words to speak.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 11

    Parents should teach their children what this prayer means. Mere form, God does not accept. Only as we offer this prayer, fully understanding its meaning and realizing our need, will it be acceptable to God.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 12

    “Our Father which art in heaven.” [Verse 9.] As adopted children, we have a right to ask our Father for the things that we need. I wish that we could all understand the value that there is in an acknowledgement of our relationship and our loyalty to Him whom we claim as “Our Father.” Before we enter upon our daily work we should draw near to God, to talk with Him whom we reverence and love, and to pray not only for ourselves, but for others. The Lord is well pleased when we come to Him in full confidence, asking for grace to overcome the world. He will not be to us as an offended Judge, but as a loving gracious Father. God has not told us to pray to saints or to angels. He alone is the Author and Finisher of our faith.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 13

    Our prayers are as letters sent from earth, directed to our Father in heaven. The petitions that are sent from sincere hearts will surely reach Him. He can discern the sincerity of His adopted children. He pities our weakness and strengthens our infirmities. He has said, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” [John 16:24.] He who comes with sanctified desire has access through Christ to the Father. Christ is our Intercessor. But we must come, not in a spirit of self-justification, but with humility, repenting of our sins. He is able to help us, willing to do more than we ask or think. He has the abundance of heaven where with to supply our necessities. “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above.” [James 1:17.] God is holy, and we must pray, “lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” [1 Timothy 2:8.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 14

    “Hallowed be Thy name.” [Matthew 6:9.] Many corruptions had crept into the religious service of the Jewish people. Among the scribes and Pharisees, prayer had become a round of self-praise, a proclamation of their own righteousness. Instead of worshiping God, they glorified themselves. They prayed to be seen and heard of men. God would have us seek for those things that will honor His name. In no case are we to glorify ourselves; we should seek God for grace and spiritual blessings, that we may glorify His name in our characters. God is glorified, His name is hallowed, when His children give in their lives a representation of Christ’s character.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 15

    “Thy kingdom come.” [Verse 10.] Christ sent His disciples forth with the message, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” [Matthew 10:7.] John the Baptist had given this message, and today the proclamation of this message is our work. When this gospel shall be preached in all the world, then shall the end come. Upon all who receive and believe in Christ rests a great responsibility. All are to work for the enlargement of His church on earth. Let us hold up before the world the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] This will hasten the coming of our Lord and Saviour.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 16

    God is our King, and we are His subjects. By obeying His law, we co-operate with God to answer our prayers, and His kingdom is established in our hearts.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 17

    “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:10.] The offering of this prayer lays upon us the responsibility of striving daily to be obedient subjects of His kingdom. Every one who professes to be His child should life in harmony with the rule of His government.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 18

    The homes of God’s people on this earth should be a representation, as far as possible, of the heavenly home, where God has His throne. We are His subjects, His little children, whom He wants to make happy. Every family circle should seek to carry out the methods of God, which are revealed in His Word. As they endeavor to bring their lives into harmony with the prayer Christ has given them, they will be sanctified through the truth. Then what a blessed representation they will show to the world.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 19

    Make a daily offering of yourselves and your children to the Lord. Say, “Lord do what Thou wilt with me and mine. Let all that I do be done to Thine honor and glory. Enable me to do what is pleasing to Thee. Give me power to become Thy child. Grant me an obedient knowledge of Thy will. Let Thy pleasure be fulfilled in my family.”18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 20

    “Give us this day our daily bread.” [Verse 11.] Food is essential to life. “Feed me with food convenient for me,” said Solomon, “lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” [Proverbs 30:8, 9.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 21

    “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” [Matthew 6:12, 14, 15.]18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 22

    When our Saviour reproved His disciples, and pointed out to them their dangers, He did it for their instruction and their safety. He desired that by reformation, they might escape the evil results of transgression.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 23

    “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” [Verse 13.] In this prayer are found no vain repetitions, no swelling words of vanity. To God is ascribed all the glory.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 24

    “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, and call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.] This shows us that we must “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” [Matthew 6:33.] Then we must enlarge our desires, and be ready to receive the blessing which God will bestow upon those who seek Him with the whole heart, in sincerity and truth. We must keep the heart open, that the grace of Christ may enter.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 25

    When the church has become corrupted; when it has united with the world in self-indulgence, grasping for the things of the world, and seeking for worldly honor and exaltation, God has allowed affliction to come upon it. Christ Himself, the Majesty of heaven, humbled Himself, that He might save perishing humanity from eternal ruin.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 26

    God has a continual care for His people. His love for them is infinite. For them He has suffered affliction and death. God will purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. All He asks is obedience to His Word.18LtMs, Ms 34, 1903, par. 27

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