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    February 25, 1895

    Communication From Mrs. E. G. White

    (Read before the ministers, Sabbath, February 23.)


    Last night in my sleeping hours I seemed to be in meeting with my brethren, listening to One who spoke as having authority. He said: “Many souls will attend this meeting who are honestly ignorant of the truths which will be presented before them. They will listen and become interested, because Christ is drawing them. Conscience tells them that what they hear is true, for it has the Bible for its foundation. The greatest care is needed in dealing with these souls. Do not at the outset press before the people the most objectionable features of our faith, lest you close their ears to which these things come as a new revelation. Let such portions of truth be dealt out to them as they may be able to grasp and appreciate; though it should appear strange and startling, many will recognize with joy the new light that is shed on the word of God, whereas if truth were presented in so large a measure that they could not receive it, some would go away, and never come again. More than this, they would misrepresent the truth.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 1

    “Present the truth as it is in Jesus. There must be no combative or controversial spirit in the advocacy of the truth. Those who study the manner of Christ's teaching and educate themselves to follow his way, will attract and hold large numbers, as Christ held the people in his day. The Saviour is our example in all things. His love abiding in the heart will be expressed in words that will benefit the hearers, and win souls to him. When the truth in its practical character is urged upon the people because you love them, souls will be convicted, for the Holy Spirit will convict of the truth. Satan will be on the ground to intercept every ray of light that would shine into the soul, but the great message is to be given as it is in Jesus.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 2

    “There is necessity for individual effort. Give opportunity for all who are in any way troubled to speak of their difficulties, for they will have them. Arm yourselves with humility, pray that angels of God may come close to your side to impress the minds—for it is not you that works the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit must work you. There is a winning, compelling power in the gospel of Christ; it is the Holy Spirit that makes the truth impressive. The truth as it is in Jesus will subdue the most powerful opponents bringing them into captivity to Jesus Christ. Christ will take men who possess the strongest spirit of opposition, and if they will submit to him, he will connect them with himself in his work. Thus the truth is presented so as to win a decided victory. Keep practical truth ever before the people.”GCB February 25, 1895, par. 3

    After these things were spoken, I heard men conversing together in a discouraging way. Poverty was, they thought, the greatest obstacle to the advancement of the work. Their words were more negative than positive, expressing little faith, hope, or courage. All admitted that the field was a hard one to be worked with so little means and so few workers. Then the teacher said that these were not the most disheartening features; the most weighty difficulty is that unless imbued with the Spirit of God, you will be inclined to allow your natural temperament to shape the work, and will leave Jesus out of the conflict. You have neglected to cherish love for one another, and it has not been strengthening in the heart. Criticism is the school that some have been educated in. Who are feeling a burden to come into perfect unity? Who will deny self, and make any and every sacrifice to his own ideas and preferences, that he may be in harmony with his brethren? It is the lack of the grace of the Holy Spirit which makes the professed followers of Christ so decided and unyielding, so determined to please themselves.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 4

    “Rebuke not an elder [a man older than yourself], but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honor widows that are widows indeed.” “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” “Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”GCB February 25, 1895, par. 5

    The great obstruction to your work will be the disregard of the tenderness of Christ in dealing with one another, because self is seeking the supremacy. Self loves to vaunt itself, and those who present a spirit unlike Christ's cannot discern what manner of spirit controls them. They speak and act like sinners, while they profess to be Christians. They more readily express their own will than the will of God, yet they are very strenuous to have their will regarded as the will of God. Satan is urging his attributes into the very midst of us; he is seeking to destroy our love for and confidence in each other; and the lack of confidence which brethren in the ministry repose in their fellow laborers is easily read in the rules and regulations, concerning even the details of the work, which are imposed upon them.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 6

    When men will show confidence in their fellowmen, they will come much nearer to possessing the mind of Christ. The Lord has revealed the estimate that he places upon men. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But some minds are ever seeking to reshape the character of others according to their own ideas and measure. God has not given them this work to do.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 7

    Self will ever cherish a high estimate of self. As men lose their first love, they do not keep the commandments of God, and then they begin to criticise one another. This spirit will be constantly striving for the mastery to the close of time. Satan is seeking to foster it, in order that brethren in their ignorance may seek to devour one another. God is not glorified, but greatly dishonored; the Spirit of God is grieved. Satan exults because he knows that if he can set brother to watch brother in the church and in the ministry, some will be so disheartened and discouraged as to leave their post of duty. This is not the work of the Holy Spirit; a power from beneath is working in the chambers of the mind and in the soul temple to place his attributes where the attributes of Christ should be.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 8

    He who has paid the infinite price to redeem men, reads with unerring accuracy all the hidden workings of the human mind, and knows just how to deal with every soul; and in dealing with men, he reveals the same principles that are manifest in the natural world. The beneficent operations of nature are not accomplished by abrupt and startling interpositions; men are not permitted to take her work into their own hands. God works through the calm, regular operations of his appointed laws. So it is in spiritual things. Satan is constantly seeking to produce effects by rude and violent thrusts; but Jesus found access to minds by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He disturbed as little as possible their accustomed train of thought by abrupt actions or prescribed rules. He honored man with his confidence, and thus placed him on his honor. He introduced old truths in a new and precious light.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 9

    Jesus assumed humanity that he might treat humanity. He brings men under the transforming power of truth by meeting them where they are. He gains access to the heart by securing sympathy and confidence, making all feel that his identification with their nature and interest is complete. The truth came from his lips beautiful in its simplicity, yet clothed with dignity and power. What a teacher was our Lord Jesus Christ! How tenderly did he treat every honest inquirer after truth, that he might gain admission to their sympathies, and find a home in the heart!GCB February 25, 1895, par. 10

    The laborers in Christ's cause are far from being what the Lord would have them be. The attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in their spirit and attitude toward one another. They hurt one another, because they are not partakers of the divine nature; and thus they work against the perfection of their own character. They bring trouble to themselves, and make the work hard and toilsome, because they regard their spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 11

    Jesus points the highest minds as well as the lowest to the lily, in the freshness of the dew of morning, and bids us “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” And he impresses the lesson: “If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”GCB February 25, 1895, par. 12

    Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really is, by seeking to take God's work out of his hands into their own finite hands. They think they must be constantly inventing something to make men do things which they suppose these persons ought to do. The time thus spent is all the while making the work more complicated; for the great Chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of his own heritage. Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do his own work; for he does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 13

    What they need is to be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. If they take hold of his strength, they will make peace with him; then they will be in a fair way to make peace with their fellow-laborers. The less of the meekness and the lowliness of Christ the human agent has in his spirit and character, the more he sees perfection in his own methods, and imperfection in the methods of others. Our only safety is to watch unto prayer, and to counsel together, believing that God will keep our brethren as well as ourselves, for there is no respect of persons with him. God will work for us when we are faithful students, and the doers of his words.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 14

    But when there is on the part of the laborers so manifest a disregard of Christ's express command that we love one another as he has loved us, how can we expect that brethren will heed the commandments of finite men, and the regulations and specifications as to how each shall labor? The wisdom that prescribes for us must be supernatural, else it will prove a physician that cannot heal, but will only destroy. We would better seek God with the whole heart, and lay down self-importance; for “all ye are brethren.”GCB February 25, 1895, par. 15

    Instead of toiling to prepare set rules and regulations, you might better be praying and submitting your own will and ways to Christ. He is not pleased when you make hard the thing he has made easy. He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The Lord Jesus loves his heritage; and if men will not think it their special prerogative to prescribe rules to their fellow laborers, but will bring Christ's rules into their life, and copy his lessons, then each will be an example, and not a judge.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 16

    Christ's most favorite theme was the paternal character and abundant love of God. The curse of every church today is that men do not adopt Christ's methods. They think that they can improve on the rules given in the gospel, and so are free to define them, hoping thus to reform the churches and the workmen. Let God be our one Master, our one Lord, full of goodness, compassion, and love.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 17

    God gives knowledge to his workmen, and he has left on record for us the rich, full promise: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” Is it not best to obtain wisdom individually by going to God, and not to man? What saith the great Teacher?—“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.”GCB February 25, 1895, par. 18

    There is among us an evil that needs to be corrected. Brethren feel free to look at and speak of the supposed defects of others, when that very liberty reveals a decided defect in themselves. They make it manifest that they are wise in their own conceits, and God cannot give them his special blessing; for they would exalt themselves, and hurt the precious cause of truth. When the world was destitute of the knowledge of God, Jesus came to impart this inestimable blessing,—a knowledge of the paternal character of our Heavenly Father. This was his own gift to our world, and this gift he committed to his disciples, to be communicated by them to the world.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 19

    All the wisdom that men possess is God's gift, and he can and will impart wisdom to every man who asks it of him in faith. Solomon sought wisdom from God, and it was given him in large measure. But how did the universe of heaven look upon him when he perverted that wisdom, and employed God's great and holy gift to exalt himself? God chose him to build the temple, but how he perverted the sacred trust! He leagued himself with idolatrous nations. Thus he who at the dedication of the temple had prayed that their hearts might be undividedly given to the Lord, himself began to separate his heart from God. He imperiled his soul's interest by the formation of friendships with the Lord's enemies. What carefulness should be exercised in the formation of friendship! Companionship with the world will surely lower the standard of religious principle. Solomon's heathen wives turned away his heart from God. His finer sensibilities were blunted, and he became hard-hearted, for he lost his sympathy for man and his love to God. His conscience was seared, and his rule became tyranny.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 20

    Solomon prepared the way for his own ruin when he sought for wise men from other nations to build the temple. God had been the educator of his people, and he designed that they should stand in his wisdom, and with his imparted talents should be second to none. If they had the clean hands, the pure heart, and the noble, sanctified purpose, the Lord would communicate to them his grace. But Solomon looked to man instead of God, and he found his supposed strength to be weakness. He brought to Jerusalem the leaven of the evil influences which were perpetuated in polygamy and idolatry. It was no question as to who made Israel to sin. Although Solomon afterwards repented, his repentance could not abolish the idolatrous practices which he had brought into the nation.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 21

    We shall individually transmit an inheritance of either good or evil. The silver of Tarshish and the gold of Ophir were obtained by Solomon at a terrible expense, even the betrayal of sacred trusts. The evil communications with heathen nations corrupted good manners. When the Lord's people turn from the God of all wisdom, and look to men who love not God, in order to obtain wisdom and arrive at decisions, the Lord will allow them to follow that wisdom which is not from above, but from beneath.GCB February 25, 1895, par. 22

    Camp-ground, Ashfield, N.S.W.

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