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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 17, 1909

    Sermon/A Holy Calling

    Nashville, Tennessee

    April 25, 1909

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 33; 6Bio 191-192. +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.

    Sermon by Mrs. E. G. White, given at the Colored Church, Winter Street, Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday morning, April 25, 1909.

    “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scriptures, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 1

    “Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:1-9.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 2

    The Lord has given us great encouragement in His Word. All through the Scriptures are to be found words of hope and courage. If we will follow on to know the Lord, we shall know His goings forth are prepared as the morning.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 3

    I am very thankful this morning to see so many present. I am glad you have this house where you can meet to worship God and to glorify His name. And this morning I would repeat to you the words of the apostle, “Laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” [Verses 1-3.] There are some present here who have asked that the Lord is gracious. They have learned that the Lord has a care for His servants—for His colored servants—and who can trust Him to open the way to do the work He has appointed them in preparing a people for the day of the Lord. This is a work that God has given to us all. He wants each believer to stand in his lot and place.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 4

    Our colored brethren and sisters have a large work to do for their own people. I have been much pleased to see the work that Brother Staines is seeking to do at the Hill Crest School farm. We saw at that place students who are preparing for the service of the Lord. The angels of heaven will surround these students as they seek to fit themselves for labor. The Lord is just as willing to help these students prepare for the work they have to do as He is to help the white students as they qualify themselves to labor for Christ. He is the willing Saviour and Helper of all. As this work is continued, we will find prejudice arise, and this will be manifested in various ways; but we must have wisdom to labor in such a way that we shall not lose the interest of either party, the white or the colored.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 5

    I have longed for the time to come when I might stand once more before the colored people. I felt so pleased as I saw this church building. It is a better building than the one we had when we first went to Michigan. But we loved that place of worship where we were free to serve the Lord according to the dictates of our conscience. The Lord has a special part for the colored people to act in the work to be done in these last days, and He wants the white people to help them as far as possible. We mean to do this, endeavoring to bring all the light and advantage possible to those who have been neglected.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 6

    I recall how especially one of your race was recognized by God in the time of the apostles, the record of which we find in the book of Acts. The Ethiopian mentioned there was a man of influence and was doing a great work when he heard the message of the gospel. The Lord saw the interest of this man in the Scriptures, and He sent His angel with a message to one of the disciples, telling him to go to a certain place, and there he would meet someone whom he was to help.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 7

    The disciple met the Ethiopian riding in his chariot and studying the Scriptures. Philip recognized him at once as the man to whom he had been sent. He said to the Ethiopian, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” The man replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” [Acts 8:30, 31.] Sitting by the side of the Ethiopian in his chariot, Philip opened to him the truths of the gospel.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 8

    The man’s heart was alive with interest as Philip explained the Scriptures to him; and when the disciple had finished, he was ready to accept the light that had been sent.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 9

    “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” [Verses 36-38.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 10

    This was the last that the eunuch saw of Philip. “When they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” [Verse 39.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 11

    Here we can see how the Lord worked for the colored people that they might be brought into connection with the gospel, and that the light that He had given for all mankind might come to them. We see also the means by which the Lord works. The light that He has given to His followers is to be given to others. “We are laborers together with God,” He declares. [1 Corinthians 3:9.] When I see the indifference of many who might be engaged as laborers together with God, my heart aches. It is the privilege and duty of all who have come to a knowledge of the present truth to get into that position where the light shed upon them can be reflected to others. The Lord will help every soul who will seek to help others. He would have all come to the light. He bids us labor to build up one another in the most holy faith.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 12

    In our labors for others there will be many difficulties to meet, and we must learn to work with wisdom. We may see slights put upon others; we may feel a great many slights ourselves; but let us never forget that there is One who regards every action.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 13

    Let us consider, too, that Christ was despised by the Jews of His day. Whatever trials we may meet, let us not stop to ponder over them and be discouraged by them. Let us make it manifest to those about us that the Lord fulfils His Word. Let us reveal our interest and our faith in the Word that God has spoken. If we will place ourselves in right relation to God, we will stand in right relation to His people and His work. God has His eye upon every soul. He calls for the white people, and He calls for the colored people to engage in His service. He calls us to be laborers together with Himself. Just as surely as He looked down upon the Ethiopian who was trying to understand the message of salvation, and sent His servant to his help, so surely will He raise up workers today to carry the message of truth to those who so greatly need it.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 14

    I am glad that the message of Christ’s second advent has reached so many of the colored people. I want to say to you, The Lord is no respecter of persons. He makes no difference because of the color of your skin. He understands all your circumstances. We have one Saviour for all mankind. He presents His merits before the Father for all peoples. It is the privilege of every soul to take hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 15

    The Lord desires that each of you shall give your heart to God and be converted. When you are converted, you will strengthen one another. All jealousy, all evil surmising will be done away. Christ came to earth and gave His precious life that all evil might be destroyed, and that His church might be built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable by Jesus Christ.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 16

    To have true faith in the Word of God means more than that we shall believe in the Word now and then. Our faith must be an established faith. God has laid in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Christ gave His life for you and for me. We need to reverence Him for His wonderful sacrifice in our behalf; we need to give Him our service, that His glory may be revealed in this city, and that the salvation of God may go forth as a lamp that burneth.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 17

    The Lord wants us to enjoy His presence. We should talk of His goodness, and tell of His power, and speak of what He has done for our souls. He wants us to be fully converted to Him, that the light of truth may shine forth with greater power than we see it shining today. “Ye are a chosen generation,” He declares, “a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] The Lord desires to lead us step by step by the light of His presence. When angels of God take charge of us, we shall not be confounded. Though every evil influence should oppose us, we may remember that there is one who will be with us. Let us put our whole confidence in God. Let us walk so that our children will see that we delight ourselves in the Lord, and that He is our Saviour. Then we can bring faith into our households and can bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 18

    The apostle Peter writes, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord: according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:2-8.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 19

    Those who have no interest in the experience that Peter here speaks of are missing a great opportunity. You cannot afford to do this. In order to teach men and women how to accomplish this work of adding grace to grace, Christ laid off His royal robe and kingly crown and came to our world as a little child. He took upon Himself the liabilities of human nature. His early associates saw Him at work as a child and as a youth at His father’s carpenter’s bench. What matter if your work is not exactly right, they would say to Him. But Jesus was as one who did not hear. He was not willing to be defective, even in the handling of tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. Jesus carried into His labor cheerfulness and tact. He was never so full of worldly care as to have no time or thought for heaven. Often He expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs. Jesus was faithful in all that He did. Let us be just as faithful. As Jesus learned His lessons and understood and did His duty, so may we.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 20

    The apostle Peter presents to us something to be worked out in our lives. You have accepted the grace of Christ; you have realized your privileges and grasped them. Now work to make your calling and election sure. You are called to glory and virtue. Add to your faith virtue; “and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity: for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Verses 5-8.] If you will live on the plan of addition; if you will shun every temptation, the light of heaven will shine into your soul, enabling you to do this work of adding grace to grace. “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” [Verse 10.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 21

    “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” I like to repeat these words to tempted souls. The Lord will surely fulfil His Word—as surely as He is God. We are to keep at work, gaining all the time, adding grace to grace. If we will do this, the promise is sure, “Ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verses 10, 11.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 22

    Here is our life insurance policy. It is an everlasting kingdom that we are to receive. I would that every one of you should understand what it means to secure this life insurance policy to the kingdom of our God. It means that you shall be doers of the Word, that you shall work out your salvation with fear and trembling. I pray that God may help us to understand our great privileges and advantages. Christ is soon coming, and there is constant need of our understanding what the Saviour means by the words, If ye do these things, ye shall never fall. We must have a constantly increasing faith. It is our privilege to be as confident of receiving eternal life as the Saviour was. The Lord of heaven wants us to manifest the simplicity of true godliness. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, adding grace to grace, until we are victorious over every sin.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 23

    Take these words home with you, and carry them out in your lives. If you are slighted and rejected, remember that Christ was also rejected. He was crucified by wicked hands; and while He hung in suffering upon the cross, those who stood about Him mocked Him, saying, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it again in three days, come down from the cross; and we will believe.” [Matthew 27:40, 42.] But while the professedly religious ones were uttering words of scorn and derision, a poor thief who hung by Christ’s side expressed his faith in Him as the Son of God. “Lord,” he said, “remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” [Luke 23:42.]24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 24

    Men may be ambitious for higher education, but there is nothing more exalted than a simple belief in a Thus saith the Lord. Pattern your life after His. Act as Christ’s little children. Do not exalt self, but exalt Christ. Take comfort from the Word of God. Teach your children to be missionaries to their people. Help them to have faith and an understanding of the will of God. There is hope for all who will lay hold of Christ and seek in their lives to honor and glorify Him. You have an everlasting promise. Grasp this promise, and hold it firmly. May God give you grace and light, is my prayer.24LtMs, Ms 17, 1909, par. 25

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