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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 81, 1909

    Sermon/An Extended Work

    Nevada, Iowa

    August 23, 1909

    Previously unpublished.

    August 23, 1909

    Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, Nevada, Iowa, camp-meeting,

    “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness unto the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” [Isaiah 55:1-5.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 1

    These are very precious words. They teach us that we are not to confine our labors to our homes or our home churches, but that our work is to be an extended one. We have a solemn work to do for the world, and all who have pledged themselves to God by baptism are to labor for the enlightenment of those who are ignorant of the truth for this time. Angels of God are seeking to impress human hearts, seeking to bring hungering souls in connection with those who know and who love the truth. When we realize the needs of a perishing world and our need of co-operating with heavenly agencies, we will exercise all our powers in the service of God for humanity.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 2

    In words of tender appeal the prophet speaks to those who know not of the depths of God’s mercy and pardoning love. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found,” he says, “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, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 3

    “As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” [Verses 6-11.] The prophet here represents the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart. Through this power and the agency of His Word, God instructs all who follow on to know the Lord.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 4

    The prophet continues: “Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” [Verses 12, 13.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 5

    The faithful worker will realize the fulfilment of these words in his own experience as he plants and sows in faith. He is to remember as he labors for perishing souls that angels of God are also working for results, and through their agency the human agent accomplishes that which he could not do alone. “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and these shall be to the Lord for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” [Verse 13.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 6

    As professing children of God we are under solemn obligations to seek and to save the lost. My brethren and sisters, God wants you to associate with believers and unbelievers, that you may help all to a fuller knowledge of the truth. Get acquainted with those whom you think you can help; then when you get into conversation with them do not talk of nothingness and folly; but tell of the precious things of God. Read the Word to them. The question with you should not be, Does such a one believe exactly as I do? but, Does he keep the commandments of God? This is the great test question. Angels of God will make impressions upon the mind if, in the spirit of Christ, you will seek to reach and to help souls.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 7

    “Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 8

    “Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep My sabbath, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant, even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to Mine holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar. My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those what are gathered unto him.” [Isaiah 56:1-8.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 9

    If you are in darkness, and do not know what light is, read over some of these precious promises in the book of Isaiah. Accept them as the assurances of a God who never fails, and you will have light in the Lord. There are many who think they have no time to read the precious Word; yet in this book lies the source of our highest education. In the hope of securing worldly honor and a name, men connect themselves with institutions of the world and gather learning from those who do not honor God. But the Lord promises to those who keep His sabbath, and who choose the things that please Him, a name “better than of sons and daughters,” “an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” [Verse 5.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 10

    “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and that forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they and Thou seest not; wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” [Isaiah 58:1-3.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 11

    Here is a people casting reproaches upon God, but the Lord in His reply casts the reproach back upon themselves: “Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast as I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 12

    “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house; when thou seest the naked that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 13

    “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” [Verses 3-11.]24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 14

    I have read these words to you that you might be encouraged to work out this experience in your own lives. I have tried this, and I know the blessings that result from such service for God. I know what it means to labor under the greatest suffering, and to have a pitying Saviour by my side constantly, as a present help in every time of need. We need to have the blessing of the Lord resting upon us every day; for God wants His people to be the most cheerful people on the face of the earth.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 15

    In your home life, when difficulties arise, don’t find fault and scold. Take the blessed Word, and bring its precious light before your family. Present it to your neighbors and friends. The Holy Spirit will work with you, impressing the hearts of those for whom you labor. They will come to understand that the commandments of God have been changed by the man of sin, and that they have been going in the way of the transgressor. Teach these souls how to return and to seek the Lord with the whole heart. In this work you will have a Helper by your side. Christ marks every work to which you put your hand for the glory and honor of His name, and He will let His blessing and comfort rest upon you and give you fruit for your labors.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 16

    I felt it a privilege to go to Portland, Maine, this summer. It was here that I had spent much of my early life. It was here I had heard Father Miller preach the truths of this message, and had seen souls converted to God through his instrumentality. I was very young at that time, but I was even then a laborer for God. It was in Portland that the Spirit of God came upon me, and the Lord showed me what He would do for souls through my efforts. The instruction came to me to write what God should show me for His people. I said, Lord, I am but a child, and I have not written since my accident; how can I write? But the word came again, “Write the things I shall give you.” I took a pen in my trembling hand and found that I could write. My hand grew steady, and since that time, I have written constantly. I am almost 82 years of age, but the Lord who lives and reigns is my strength and my dependence still.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 17

    I am thankful that so much means has been raised for the work in Portland. The believers there have laid the foundation of their meetinghouse, but can get no further in its erection. They lack funds. There are but few in the faith, and their facilities are very meager. I said to our brethren and sisters there, I will ask our people assembled at the camp-meetings to donate of their means for the work in Portland. You have raised something, and I thank the Lord that He has put it into your hearts to help. If there are others who want to help in this good work, I invite you to do so. The blessing of the Lord will rest upon you in every such work.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 18

    At Buffalo, located just outside the city, the believers have a little meetinghouse. I had the privilege of speaking to our people there, and the blessing of the Lord rested upon me. We have seen of the salvation of God on this journey.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 19

    I am glad that you are to have a sanitarium in Nevada. I am thankful for every such institution that I see established, and for every advance step in the cause of present truth. If workers who are consecrated and who appreciate the truth for this time are chosen to carry the work of this institution, there will be precious results seen.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 20

    God has given us great light, that we may let that light shine forth to others. We need to arouse and look after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We need to do all in our power to lead souls to Christ. It is our work to raise up the foundations of many generations. Let us seek to have a part in every good work, for this will make us laborers together with God.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 21

    There are those here who need to make advanced moves. You may not have a penny to bestow on the cause of God, but you can give yourselves. You can say, I am resolved to follow on to know the Lord and to keep His commandments. Let us right here at this camp-meeting seek to reach others. We are not here to sit and listen to the truth day after day and do nothing for the enlightenment of those around us. The Word says, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet.” [Verse 1.] God intends that every soul of us shall work with all the powers of our being. There are many places where work must be done, but we cannot do this work while we sit with folded hands in our homes. God calls us to work diligently, for time is short.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 22

    Consider the labors and struggles of the Son of God. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The only begotten Son of God, He took upon Himself the sin of the world, that He might reconcile us to the Father. Consider His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. It was here that the mysterious cup trembled in His hand. Should He drink the cup? Should He consent to be separated from the Father? His divine nature shrank from the terrible ordeal. But a mighty angel was sent to minister to Him, and strengthened Him to drink the cup of suffering.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 23

    He was laid in Joseph’s tomb, but He came forth on the morning of the resurrection a triumphant conqueror, and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, I am the resurrection and the life. And He brought forth with Him from their graves a multitude of saints to testify in their lives to the power of a risen Saviour.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 24

    My brethren and sisters, let us unite with God. Let us do what He wants us to do. Let us deny self and act a part in the great, grand work of soul-saving. Let us pray:24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 25

    Heavenly Father, I have tried to give the message to the people in simplicity. Wilt Thou impress heart and mind with its importance? Show this people their need of the words I have presented to them today, and impress them with the work that they must do for the Master—a work that none can do for them. Let Thy blessing rest upon this congregation in a special manner. Give them courage. Help them to consider the great sacrifice of Christ, made that they might claim His divine power and become subjects of the kingdom of glory.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 26

    Teach this people that there is a world to be saved, and that they must be truly converted if they would do acceptable service for others. Encircle them in the arms of Thy mercy and love, and teach them how to obtain the higher education by uniting with Jesus Christ and with God for the salvation of a perishing world.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 27

    O God, the living God, we can do nothing without Thee. We need Thee here upon this encampment. We want Thy blessing and Thy grace and Thy salvation. We want to lay hold of Thee by living faith. We can do nothing, but Thou canst do all things. Speak to heart and mind. Let the light of truth go forth as a lamp that burneth, and Thy blessed name shall have all the glory.24LtMs, Ms 81, 1909, par. 28

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