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    “Preach the Gospel to Every Creature.”

    Sermon, October 9, 1893EA 194.1

    (783) Christ said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned.”EA 194.2

    The field is the world, and we know better what this saying comprehends, than did the apostles who receive the commission from the lips of Christ. The whole world is a vast missionary field. We who have been long in the faith should be encouraged by the knowledge that fields which were once difficult of access are now easily entered. Every church in our land should seek for a revival of the missionary spirit, for a steady growth in zeal and activity. We should pray that the indifference that has called men and women to be withheld from the work shall be banished, and that Christ may abide in the soul. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.EA 194.3

    (784) The office work of the Holy Spirit is to convince of sin, and I know that it is sin for any of us to be indifferent now. As we look around on the different fields that have been entered, we are led to inquire, “What hath God wrought?” What could he have done for His vineyard that He has not done? God has made provision of his rich grace, his divine power, for the performance of the work, and nothing is wanting on His part. The lack is on the part of the human agency, who refuses to cooperate with divine intelligences. Through the plan God has devised nothing can be done for the salvation of man without the cooperation of the human agent. Sinners who have been blessed with light and evidence, who have learned that through the grace supplied to them they can meet the conditions upon which salvation is promised, and yet who refuse to make the attempt, have only themselves to blame for their destruction. Of such it may be said, “Christ has died for them in vain.” But who is to blame for the loss of the souls who know not God, who have no opportunity of hearing of the reasons of our faith? What obligations rest upon the church for a world perishing without the gospel. Unless there is more decided self-denial (785) on the part of those who claim to believe the truth, unless there is more faithfulness in bringing tithes and offerings into the treasury, unless broader plans are laid than have yet been carried into execution, we shall not fulfil the gospel commission to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.EA 194.4

    The preaching of the gospel is God’s appointed way for the conversion of the souls of men. Men must hear in order to be saved. They cannot hear without a preacher, and the preacher must be sent. This makes it necessary to have funds in the treasury to provide means for the missionary to reach the destitute field. In the light of this fact how can those who profess to follow Christ rob God of His own entrusted talents in tithes and offerings? Is this not refusing bread to a starving soul? To withhold the means that God has claimed as His own, and by which he would make provision for the salvation of souls, will surely bring the curse of God upon those who follow such a course. Souls are denied to privilege of hearing the truth because men refuse to carry out the measures which God has laid down for the recovery of the lost.EA 194.5

    (786) Money will not be furnished for the carrying out of the work of the gospel in some mysterious way, and though mysterious agencies. God will not shower money from the windows of heaven to do his appointed work, to spread the truth in the world and save souls unto eternal life. He has made his people stewards of His means to be used for His means to be used for His glory in blessing humanity. He says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” While God will not pour out gold and silver from the windows of heaven, he will give that which is of infinitely greater value. “I will pour out my Spirit upon you,” He says. The Holy Spirit of God will bless those who are faithful in the discharge of their duty. The Lord continues, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.”EA 194.6

    (787) A large number of us have been blessed with great opportunities; we have been educated in the truth; and many should be employed in communicating to others that which has been communicated to them, and in so their knowledge would increase. It is not the ministers alone who need to let their light shine forth to the world; both young and old should be light bearers. To every man God has entrusted talents that should be improved by communicating to others the light that has been communicated to him. This work the Lord estimates as of the highest value. The Lord has provided our churches with wonderful advantages in order that they may be the light of the world; and yet many are idle in the Master’s vineyard. Souls are perishing out of Christ, and every one is called to the practice of self-denial, to put forth earnest efforts for the salvation of the world. We must reach the people not by high-flown, flowery descriptions, but by preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified as the only means by which man may enter heaven. The lessons Christ thought essential to give to the world are the lessons which are now most important for men to understand in order that they may secure eternal life. (788) The people must hear the truth for this time, and especially must the children and youth hear it, line upon line and precept upon precept. They must know the conditions upon which their salvation is promised, or they will be lost. Let the shaft be sunk deep into the mine of truth, the word of God, and let the precious ore be discovered. There is need of more carefully, more thoroughly, exploring God’s word. To the earnest seeker for truth it will yield untold treasures of inestimable value, that will meet the necessities of every human soul.EA 195.1

    In the name of Jesus Christ, I would appeal to the church that has been made the depositary of deep and precious truths. God has given treasures to the church not to be hoarded, not to be buried in the earth, but to be imparted to others, that others may be enriched as well as ourselves. How shall we work? Let laymen and ministers follow the example of Christ. Let them meet the people where they are. I would entreat you to labor in word and doctrine. Do not get above the simplicity of the work. Do not soar away above the heads of the common people, so that they cannot follow you, and if they did follow, (789) would not be benefited and blessed. Teach the simple lessons of Christ. Tell the touching story of his life of self-denial and sacrifice. Tell of his humiliation and death. Tell of his resurrection and ascension, of his intercession for them in the courts of God. Tell that that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”EA 195.2

    Ashfield Camp.
    Oct. 22, 1894
    EA 196.1

    (789a) The Australasia camp-meeting of Seventh-day Adventists was held this year in a pleasant grove at Ashfield, one of the most beautiful and healthful suburbs of Sydney. The weather was fine throughout the camp-meeting, and we thoroughly enjoyed our sojourn in the tents. These were arranged in regular village-like order, with streets named after the Reformers, in the manner of our American camps, and called forth much interested and favorable comment from the thousands of strangers who visited us from the city and its vicinity.EA 196.2

    This manner of gathering was entirely novel to the people, and they expressed great surprise that tents could be made so comfortable and look so pretty. Some of the campers brought their cook stoves, and had their tents so arranged that the passing by one could see the neatly and bountifully set tables, the white beds, and attractive sitting-rooms.EA 196.3

    Those who tented in the ground were certainly comfortable in their tents, and visitors were not neglected. Provision was made for the entertainment of those who came upon the ground, and many expressed their appreciation of the reception tent, and the dining tent, at which they could be served with palatable meals. The culinary arrangements were under supervision of Brother and Sister Semmens, lately arrived here from the Sanitarium. The tables were very neat, covered with white oilcloth, and set with china, crockery, and glass ware. The cleanliness, order, and taste of the arrangements, added relish to the good meals served.EA 196.4

    (789b) The book tent displayed the usual assortment of our publications, and attracted much attention.EA 196.5

    Although there were not so many encamped on the ground as in Melbourne, yet the attendance from outside was fully as large as at the camp-meeting in Brighton. The large pavilion was rarely commodious enough to accommodate the people who thronged to the services. All were assured of welcome by a large sign over the gate, on which was printed the words, “Whosoever will let him, come.” On Sabbath and Sunday, the grounds were thronged with interested spectators. The people listened with rapt attention to discourses on the coming of Christ, Spiritualism, Theosophy, The Third Angel’s Message, The Love of God, Temperance, Practical Godliness, and themes especially related to our time. The principal speakers were Pastors Corliss, Daniells, Cole, Colcord, Hare, Baker, and Mrs. E.G. White.EA 196.6

    An attractive feature of the camp was the children’s meetings. The lessons were conducted by Brother Teasdale, and Sisters Goodey and Bolton. The morning studies were devoted to the characters in the Old Testament, and in the afternoon the life of Christ was the theme for consideration. These lessons were illustrated by the blackboard, maps, and object lessons. The children were taught songs in harmony with the lessons, which they seemed thoroughly to enjoy, and the forenoon and the afternoon meetings, they were taken out to the woods near by, and given lessons from nature. It was a pretty sight to see the children quietly marching to and from the woods.EA 196.7

    There was a large attendance of children from outside who (789c) came regularly to the meetings, and many parents expressed their pleasure that their children were so thoroughly interested and profited by the meetings.EA 196.8

    The first meeting of the camp proper was held October 19, 1894. I was present at the morning meeting, and united in prayer, and bore my testimony to the people. The Lord let his blessing rest upon me.EA 196.9

    The following morning I again attended the morning meeting and my soul was drawn out in humble, earnest prayer to my Heavenly Father, that he would impart his grace to our ministers and people. There was an absence of love for God and for each other among the people. We did not realize that sweet communion and fellowship that we should have had. A rebellion against God’s holy authority and control was manifested, and humility had departed from the church.EA 196.10

    I knew that the Lord would not reveal his power in the midst of us unless there was a decided change in the sentiments and feelings of our ministering brethren. How could the Lord bless his people when those who preached the word were disregarding the principles of his law, which teaches us to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. The exhibition of selfishness and distrust was destroying confidence. There was strife for (789d) the supremacy, and this was an offence to God, and a source of weakness to the churches.EA 197.1

    I went into this morning meeting under a great burden, and bore a decided testimony to the ministers. I told them that it was not possible for God to put his signature upon the work unless his workers had a more tender regard for one another. I pointed out to them their need of humility, and kindness and love. The Lord helped me to make these matters plain. After breakfast I met again with the ministers in the reception tent. As I presented the need of change in the feelings and attitude came into the meeting, and earnest confessions were made. Brother clasped the hand of brother and asked forgiveness. The blessing of the Lord rested in rich measure on those who humbled their hearts, and confessed their coldness and want of love. The Lord surely hearkened and hear the words spoken, and a book of remembrance was written before them for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon his name. We had a precious season of prayer, and our ministers’ meeting closed with a decided victory. After this work of confession had been done, a purer and holier atmosphere came into our meeting.EA 197.2

    (789e) We made most vigilant efforts to get families to this camp-meeting, and keep them there. Of one family I bought a cow, that they might have bread for their large family, parents and children of which numbered ten; and at the camp we either paid for their meals at the dining tent, or brought them to our own table.EA 197.3

    Another family that we were anxious to have attend the meetings was in deep distress at the time. When Brother Belden went to move them to the ground, they had nothing in the house but a little bread and sugar, left over from what had been sent them a few days before. The man from whom Bro. McCann had been working came in to the house, and Bro. M. asked his employer if he could not pay him then. The man looked up in surprise, and said, “I cannot pay you any money; the work you gave done goes to pay your rent.” Bro. M. said, “I have not a penny to buy bread, or to pay for the bread I have eaten.”EA 197.4

    Brother Belden handed him $2.50 and told him to pay his baker.EA 197.5

    The last Sabbath before the camp, we found this family (789f) sorely tempted. They were not at church, and some members of our family visited them, and learned that they were about to be turned out of doors. Part of the family had moved away to another place a few miles distant, hoping to get employment in a meat canning factory there; and in that case they must work on the Sabbath. The father said that he could go hungry and that he would not break the Sabbath for his sake; “but,” he said, “I cannot see my children starve.”EA 197.6

    We went to the campground, called several of our people together, and laid the matter before them, and prayed about it. We decided to bring them to the campground, and provide for them there. I also purchased good material for garments for them that they might be respectably clothed.EA 197.7

    The situation was laid before a friend of Eld. McCullagh’s who was favorable to the truth, and he gave encouragement that he would buy the Mortgage on Brother McCann’s home, and place the family back. This would give Brother M. time to sell his property, and if possible save a little for the benefit his family.EA 197.8

    The families we helped to the meeting were not a cheap class of people. These people were industrious if they could (789g) only get work. Another brother was Elder of the church in Prospect, and another a good business man, who had met with reverses. We could not see these go hungry or destitute or leave them to become discouraged. They were bought with the precious blood of Jesus, and were of value in the sight of God.EA 198.1

    During the camp-meeting, the working of God’s Spirit was manifested in the case of one, the wife of a Brother Martin who had lately become a Sabbath-keeper, and who had bitterly opposed her husband. Brother Martin persuaded his wife to allow one of the children to come upon the ground. We took the child into our tent, and cared for her. In this way we hoped to reach the mother, and our hopes were not in vain. On the last Sunday Mrs. Martin came with her husband to the ground, and was persuaded to remain. After hearing one of the discourses, she was overwhelmed with deep conviction, and cried aloud in soul agony. She entreated Sister Davis to pray for her. After a severe struggle, she found peace and rest in Christ by entirely surrendering herself to his will. Christ revealed himself to this sister in a marked manner, and it is a miracle of his Mercy that the lost sheep has been found. She (789h) sincerely repented of her stubborn resistance against the truth and of her opposition to her husband. The lost sheep was found, and brought back to the old rejoicing. There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons who feel that they need no repentance. EA 198.2

    The last public service, on Sunday evening, was one long to be remembered. The night was a beautiful one. The walls of the large tent were raised, and extra seats were placed around the outside; yet a large crowd was left standing. Elder Corliss preached upon the glorious appearing of our Lord, and it was just the discourse for the occasion. The Spirit and power of God were manifested through the human agent. At times the whole congregation was held as if spellbound. Truly many had an opportunity of hearing things strange to them. Yet these were old truths, but placed before the hearers with a freshness and power the hearers had never known before. “The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.”EA 198.3

    Monday morning we held our parting meeting. It was a precious season. My heart was so thankful for the blessed results of this meeting. The seed sown will spring up and bear fruit (789i) that will be as far-reaching as eternity.EA 198.4

    Revival services were held during the last two Sabbaths of the camp, and while many adults went forward for prayer, the number of children far exceeded these. There were over fifty children who gave evidence of earnestness and sincerity in seeking Christ. The interest the people manifested was very gratifying, and many requested that the meetings should not close with the close of the camp-meeting.EA 198.5

    The tent was therefore pitched a little later in a pleasant location nearer the center of the town, and Brn. Corliss and McCullagh, with a corps of workers, labored with great earnestness and perseverance. In this work the brethren had to meet much opposition from the ministers of the various churches in Ashfield. Several preached strongly against us. One, a trained debater, challenged Elder Corliss to discuss the Sabbath question, and the challenge was accepted.EA 198.6

    Three times during this debate the Lord opened before me the manner in which this discussion should be conducted. There are many who feel it their privilege to be sharp and severe in dealing with an opponent who states falsehood as (789j) if it were truth. This debater, like Goliath, was proud and boastful, and defied the armies of Israel; But the truth, like the small pebbles that David used, brought about his defeat, and made his weakness apparent. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Elder Corliss carried the controversy through without giving his congregation occasion to say that he once lost his temper. For six nights he met the opponent of the truth, and the Lord stood by his servant. His brethren stood by him also, and special prayer was offered every night before entering the meeting, that the Lord would give victory to the truth. The discussion was carried through with dignity, and the impression left upon the minds of the people caused many to favor the truth.EA 198.7

    Hearing that some were to unite with our body by baptism, the Baptists of their own accord offered our ministers the use of the baptistery in their church. They wished to have a discourse on baptism preached to their church members. The favor was accepted, and sixteen believers went forward in baptism. After the meeting the Baptists told our brethren that they might (789k) have the use of the baptistery on certain days of the week at any time they asked for it. But when they asked three weeks later, the Baptists refused, saying we could not use it any more. The deacon of the church said he was in harmony with all the remarks made by Sister White, that the thoughts presented were new and very instructive. He said he was not in favor of refusing us the baptistery; but others urged it, and he felt it necessary to be in harmony with them.EA 199.1

    In the end, we were very glad of this refusal, for had it not come, we could not have found the beautiful lake, at which the next baptism was administered. It was worthwhile making a special effort to find such a suitable place. When we reached the lakeside, more than two hundred persons were gathered there. After several hymns were sung, prayer was offered by Brother Hare. Then I spoke for about forty minutes, from the words, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” Elder McCullagh administered the ordinance. Nineteen precious souls were baptized. EA 199.2

    That scene at the lakeside was an advertisement for the (789l) truth, and had its influence. Only twelve had expected to go forward in baptism at this time; but several who had been halting between two opinions now made their decision to keep the Sabbath. In this case the words of the Scriptures were clearly demonstrated; “Ye can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. A feeling of sympathy was created, and an interest awakened, that would not have been had the meeting been held in the Baptist Church. EA 199.3

    All this was preparing the way for the work in Sydney. We decided that the tent should next be pitched in one of the best localities of Summer Hill. The plan was to labor in that place one or two months, and then move to another suburb, and finally into Sydney itself.EA 199.4

    Instruction Given to Ministers and Workers.
    Campground, Ashfield, N.S.W.
    3 a.m. October 30, 1894
    EA 200.1

    (771) Last night in my sleeping hours I seemed to be in a meeting with my brethren, and we were listening to One who spoke with authority. He said: —EA 200.2

    “Many souls will attend this meeting who are honestly ignorant of the truths that will be presented here. They will become interested; conscience will tell them that what they hear is the truth; because Christ is drawing them. The greatest care is needed in dealing with these souls. Be always on your guard. Do not at the outset press before the people those features of our faith likely to raise objections in the mind, lest you close the ears of those to whom these truths come as a new revelation. If truth is presented in so large a measure that the hearers cannot receive it, they will go away, and return no more. More (772) than this they will misrepresent the truth, and in their explanation of what they have heard, they will confuse other minds.EA 200.3

    “There must be no combative or controversial spirit revealed in the advocacy of truth. Present such truths as the people can grasp and appreciate. Though these may appear strange and startling to them, many will recognize without that new light is being shed upon the word of God.EA 200.4

    “The Saviour is to be your example in all things. Those who will study the manner of Christ’s teaching, and educate themselves to follow His way, presenting the truth in its simplicity, will attract and hold large numbers in the time, as Christ held the people in His day. There is great need of personal effort. Encourage those who are troubled to speak of their difficulties. The love of Christ abiding in the heart will be expressed in words that will benefit the hearers, and win souls to Him. The truth will have a compelling power when you urge it upon the people because you love them; for the Holy Spirit will convict of the truth. Arm yourselves with humility; pray that angels of God may come close to your side to impress minds. There is a winning, compelling power in the gospel of Jesus (773) Christ. The truth as it is in Jesus will subdue the most powerful opponents, and bring them into captivity to Jesus Christ. If they will submit to Him, Christ will take men who possess the strongest spirit of opposition, and connect themselves with himself and His work.”EA 200.5

    After these things were spoken, I heard men conversing together in a discouraging way. Poverty, in their minds, was the greatest obstacle to the advancement of the work. All declared the field a hard one to be worked with little means, and so few workers. Then the Teacher said: “Poverty is not the most disheartening feature in this work. The greatest difficulty lies in the workers themselves. Unless imbued with the Spirit of God, you will be inclined to allow your natural temperament to shape the work, and you will leave Jesus out of the conflict. You have neglected to cherish love for one another, and this has resulted in weakening your hands and hearts. Criticism is the school in which many of you have been educating yourselves. There needs to be a decided conversion on this point. Who among you are feeling (774) a burden to come into perfect unity. Who will deny self and sacrifice your own ideas and preferences, that you may be in harmony with your brethren? It is the lack of the Holy Spirit that makes the professed followers of Christ so decided and unyielding, so determined to please self.EA 200.6

    “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 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.”EA 200.7

    “The greatest obstruction to your work is your disregard of the tenderness of Christ is dealing with one another. Self seeks the supremacy. Self loves to vaunt itself; and those who reveal this spirit so unlike Christ’s do not discern what manner (775) of Spirit controls them. While professing to be Christians, they do not speak and act like Christians. They express their own will rather than the will of God, yet they are very desirous to have their will regarded as the will of God. Satan is urging his attributes into your very midst; he is seeking to destroy your love for you and your confidence in each other. The lack of confidence between the brethren in the ministry and the other workers is easily read in the rules and regulations concerning the details of the work. When men will be courteous to their fellow-men, and show confidence in them, they will come much nearer possessing the mind of Christ. In His gift to the world the Lord has revealed the estimate he places upon man. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”EA 201.1

    Some are ever seeking to reshape the characters of others to suit their own ideas and measures. God has not given them this work to do. A spirit of selfishness will ever lead men to cherish a high estimate of self. When men lose their first love, they begin immediately to criticize one another. This (776) spirit will constantly strive for the mastery to the close of time. Satan is working to foster it, in order that the brethren in their ignorance may devour one another; for in this way he can dishearten and discourage them, and cause some 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. God is greatly dishonored, and the Spirit of God is grieved when His professing people allow their lives to be controlled by such a spirit.EA 201.2

    He who paid the price for man’s redemption reads with unerring accuracy all the hidden workings of the human mind, and knows how to deal with every soul. 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 finds access to (777) minds by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He disturbs as little as possible their accustomed train of thought. He honors man with His confidence, and thus placed him on his honor. He introduces old truths in a new and precious light.EA 201.3

    Jesus assumed humanity that He might meet humanity, and bring them under the transforming power of truth. He gained access to the heart by securing its sympathy and confidence. The truth came from His lips beautiful in its simplicity, yet clothed with dignity and power. What a teacher our Lord Jesus Christ was! How tenderly did he treat every honest inquirer after truth, that he might gain admission to the sympathies and find a home in the heart. Jesus points the highest mind as well as the humblest to the lily in the freshness of the dew of morning, saying, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you, That 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.” (778) Men make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it would be, by seeking to take God’s work out of His hands into theirs. They undertake the job of tinkering up the defective characters of others, and only succeed in making the defects worse than before. The time thus spent is all the time making the work more complicated; for the Chief Worker is left out of the question in the care of his heritage. Men would do better to leave God to do his own work; for He does not regard human natural as capable of reshaping character.EA 201.4

    My brethren, we are far from being what the Lord would have us be the attributes of the enemy of God and man too often find expression in our spirit and attitude toward our brethren. We hurt one another, because we are not partakers of the divine nature. We work against our own souls’ interests in obtaining perfection of character; we bring trouble to ourselves, make our work hard and toilsome, because we regard our own spirit and defects of character as precious virtues, to be clung to and fostered. We need to be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. If we will take hold of His strength, and make peace with Him, we will be in a fair way to make peace with our fellow-laborers. The (779) less of the meekness and lowliness of Christ the human agent has in his spirit and character, the more of perfection he sees in his own methods, and the more of imperfection in the methods of others. Our only safety lies in watching unto prayer, in counselling together, believing that God will teach our brethren as well as ourselves; for there is no respect of persons with God. God will work with us when we are faithful students, and doers of His word.EA 202.1

    When there is on the part of the laborers manifest disregard of the command of Christ to love one another as He has loved us, how can we expect our brethren to heed the commandments of finite men, and the specifications regulating their labor. The wisdom that prescribes for us must be supernatural, or it will prove a physician that cannot heal. We need to lay down our self-importance, and seek God with all the heart. Instead of toiling to prepare rules and regulations, we had better be praying, submitting our will and our ways to Christ. He is not pleased when we make hard the things that He has made easy. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, and learn of Me; for I am meek (780) 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 would not think it their special prerogative to prescribe rules for their fellow-laborers, but would bring Christ’s rules into their lives and copy his teachings, each would be an example, and not a judge.EA 202.2

    Christ’s favorite theme of discourse was the paternal character and abundant love of God. The curse of our churches today is that men do not adopt Christ’s methods of labor, or present in their simplicity the truths He taught. They think they can improve in the rules given in the gospel, hoping this to reform the churches and laborers. This evil needs to be corrected. The brethren who feel free to criticize and talk of the supposed defects of others manifest that they are wise in their own conceits. 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 the inestimable blessing of a knowledge of the character of our heavenly Father. When about to close His work on earth he declared, “I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world.” (781) This gift he committed to His disciples, to be communicated by them to the world.EA 202.3

    All the wisdom that men possess is a gift from God, and He will impart to every man a full measure, if he will ask 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 the sacred trust. He leagued himself with idolatrous nations. Thus he who at the dedication of the temple had prayed, “Let your hearts be undividedly given to the Lord,” himself separated his heart from God. He imperiled his soul’s interest by the formation of friendships with the Lord’s enemies. Solomon’s heathen wives turned away his heart from God. His fine sensibilities were blunted, his heart hardened; for he lost his sympathy for man and his love for God. His conscience was seared, and his rule became tyranny.EA 203.1

    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 (782) stand in his wisdom, and be second to none. While they had clean hands, a pure heart and sanctified noble 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. The solver of Tarshish and the gold of Ophir were obtained by Solomon at a terrible expense, even the betrayal of sacred trusts He brought to Jerusalem the leaven of evil influences which were perpetuated in polygamy and idolatry. Although Solomon afterward repented, his repentance could not abolish the idolatrous practices which he had brought into the nation.EA 203.2

    The Lord gives instruction to his workmen, and he has left on record the promise, “If any man 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.” When God’s people turn from the source of all wisdom, to follow the wisdom of man, they are putting their trust in a broken reed, and the wisdom they receive is that which cometh from beneath, not that which cometh from above.EA 203.3

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