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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)

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    Ms 189, 1907

    Sermon/Thoughts on 2 Peter 1

    Merced, California

    May 28, 1907

    Previously unpublished.

    Sabbath, May 28, 1907

    Sermon at Merced Camp-meeting

    2 Peter 1:1-11. Now that is a wonder assurance for every one of us.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 1

    Verse 12. Therefore the repetition is to be made over and over and over again, because we forget these things. We do not remember the dangers of our becoming careless and indifferent. Now here, the first part of this is that “grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” [Verse 2.]22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 2

    Verse 3. To “godliness.” Now here is a sum given us in addition. We are to be constantly adding. There is not a soul of us that is in a safe position unless we are living upon the plan of addition. If we are living upon the plan of addition, God works upon the plan of multiplication, so while we are adding grace to grace, and seeking right here in this evil world to form characters for the future immortal life, we are preparing ourselves to unite with the heavenly angels, preparing ourselves in disposition, preparing ourselves in kindness, preparing ourselves in every way for a fitness for the royal family in the kingdom of God.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 3

    And here is an assurance in the eleventh verse. Verse 11. Now what does this mean? It means that you have an eternal life insurance policy if you will comply with the conditions. You have a life insurance policy, an eternal life insurance policy. If you live on the plan of addition, God will work on the plan of multiplication. You will be brought daily into a closer fellowship with the saints in light, and they will minister unto every soul that is seeking earnestly for the light which cometh alone from God. We cannot any of us afford to lose this opportunity.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 4

    We want in every way possible to bring ourselves in right relation to God, and we want that every member of the family shall be in a position where that the mother is considered the queen of the household, where the father is prince of the household. The mother is to take her position, not as a slave in the family. Although she may not be able to provide special hired help, yet she is to work in her family in that way. If she is a Christian mother, she will devote time to her children to teach them what their duty is, what is their line, for they are responsible, the parents, for what character they give to their children. If they let them have their own way, and do just as they please, they are answerable for their souls. But the mother is to guard the interests of her children, and in every way possible she is to be in a condition where she can give instruction kindly and tenderly. She shall be preparing her children for the future immortal life. It is lesson after lesson she is to give.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 5

    Here is the life insurance policy for the father, for the mother, and for the children. When the children are brought up carefully, the younger members are placed under the older members, and these older ones learn to bear and lift the responsibilities from their father and their mother—the boys and the girls united, that they will be educated in the right line.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 6

    We read that God said, I know Abraham, that he will command his children and his household after him. [Genesis 18:19.] It was a very large family to keep in the way of the Lord, to do judgment and justice, and to carry out the very instructions that are given here in living on the plan of addition, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 7

    Then you are to understand that the education that is given in this Word is to be obeyed strictly, and if they want the life insurance policy they must live according to the instruction that is given here.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 8

    Peter says, [2 Peter 1] verse 13. Now we want to escape every evil.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 9

    Verse 14. Now we understand what our life insurance policy is. It is to obey the commandments of God just as He had given in His Word, and have characters that shall be living on the plan of addition, and this plan is to add grace to grace, virtue to virtue.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 10

    Verse 4. Now if you will follow out these promises, there is not a soul in this congregation that needs to be in darkness. Every soul can have the light, because they have the Word. The Word is our director; we are to study the Word. Do not pile upon your tables in your homes all the magazines, and these stories of different things, and let that mind that should be educated to be fitting for the heavenly courts be filled with evil and nonsense. What we want is heaven. Christ paid a very dear price in order that He might redeem man and bring him into the position where he and his whole family shall have a guide. And what it that? It is the Word. You won’t need to bring folly into your family, but you want to take time. If you cannot take time to read the Scriptures to your family, fathers, how can you be trusted with the responsibilities of the souls of the children? How can you let your children grow up without leading them to Christ Jesus?22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 11

    How the mothers lead their children to Christ! They felt sure if they led them to Jesus, they should ever keep in mind the instructions that He would give them. So the mother starts with her children and the neighbors unite with her, and they come, quite a company of them, come to Christ. Well, what did He do with them? Here the mothers with their children were crowding around to hear and to be healed, and the disciples thought that Christ ought not to be disturbed, and they were sending the mothers away. Christ was watching, and He said, “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:14.]22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 12

    You know that Christ told His disciples that they were not to offend one of these little ones. Now these little ones were not the little ones He spoke of, but He told them not to offend the little ones—those that were young in faith—for you had better have a millstone hung about your neck and to be cast into the depths of the sea, for their angels do always behold the face of your Father which is in heaven.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 13

    Now there is a solemn work that is resting upon parents, and when the children are in our cities, our large cities, I think the sooner they get out of the cities the better it will be. That has been my message for years: Out of the cities, out of the cities, go where there is room that the children can circulate and where they can have land to cultivate, and where you can educate them in regard to cultivation. The time will come when Christ said that if you are on your housetop, don’t you go to gathering up the things that are there; don’t you go down below to gather things. Why? Because they are driven right into the mountains. You do not know what is coming before us. It is opened before me again and again of what is coming, and I have been very much interested in studying the Scriptures, of what we should educate our children. Teach them to keep the Sabbath. Watch them, do not go away from your house, whatever your work is, unless you have the committing of this family to God. Present them, and let Christ be brought before them as the Saviour that gave His life for the life of the world.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 14

    Only think of it! Our Saviour the Prince of life! The Prince of heaven laid off His royal crown, laid aside His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity. What for? That humanity might touch humanity. Did He come as a Prince? No. He might have had myriads of angels with Him if He had chosen, but that was not the way. He was to give an example of perfection of Christian character in just the way that He did give it. Poor, brought up in poverty, working at the trade of His father, this was the way that Christ came to our world to save sinners.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 15

    He took the pains to save them. And when these little children were brought to Him, and they were sending them away, Christ forbade them, and He took them in His arms, and He blessed them, and then the mothers went on their way very much relieved. Now what impression was left on those children? When ever they would attempt to do a wrong action: “Don’t you see, don’t you know that Christ laid His hand on you, and blessed you?” Fathers and mothers, bring your children right to the throne of grace, and plead with God for Christ’s sake to pardon their sins.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 16

    Now, Christ our Redeemer was a man of sorrow. He came to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. How was it? In order to obtain life for you and me and every one of us in our world, He must come in humanity and give an example of what humanity could be and should be. And there He gave lesson after lesson, and He educated them, and, boys and girls, He was a teacher. He was an educator, He was a minister, He was our example in all things. Now we think enough of eternal life to just practice, if it is possible, the life of my Lord. I think enough of that inheritance that has been purchased for us at such a large cost that I want to live on the plan of addition. I want to add grace to grace, virtue to virtue, and be continually educating the mental powers as well as the physical powers.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 17

    Deny the appetite of things, tobacco and rum and all intemperate habits, and keep you children where they will not be tempted with these things. If you take the responsibility of bringing children into the world, you take that responsibility which is of the highest solemnity, of how you are educating them, is it for heaven or for hell? Is it to let Satan come in and have the power over your children, or is it for you to begin with their very infancy to train them how they can be Christians.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 18

    What we want is religion. What we want is that eternal life insurance policy. We want to be educated in the line of love Christ will all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul. When the lawyer asked Christ what he should do to have eternal life, Christ turned the question right to the lawyer. He asked him, “What saith the Scriptures, how readest thou?” The lawyer said, “Thou shalt love ... neighbor as thyself.” Now that is the Scripture. Then the question arose, “Who is my neighbor?” Then He brings up a case that they had had right amongst them. [Luke 10:25-37.] (Quote from Bible).22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 19

    Now, that is you neighbor. Supposing that that principle could be cultivated in our homes, supposing we cultivated them as we are giving the education to our children, and that we are teaching them the right way to live on the plan of addition. Then how will it be? We are doing just exactly as the Lord would have us do in that case. We have families, and God expects us to do our duties as Abraham did his duty.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 20

    Now we have a contrast, and we see Eli. He let his children do just as they pleased. He would remonstrate, but they would never carry out his remonstrance. He let them go, and did not restrain his children. Then what came? God declared from heaven that He would not give them victories in their battles, that He would give them up to the possession of their enemies, because of their unfaithfulness. We are striving for everlasting life, and we want the sweetness of disposition to be brought into the training of our children; we want to be fitting them up for the future, immortal inheritance. It is worth everything to us that we shall have a home, a precious home, in the kingdom of God. Every child is a sacred trust, and you are to educate and train that child for temperance, for kindness, for patience, for longsuffering, just as the Word says, just as it is given here. The Lord wants us to carry out these principles ([2 Peter 1] verses 3, 4) “according as His divine power ... divine nature.”22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 21

    That is if you fulfil the promise. Fathers and mothers, I ask you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, are you preparing your children for the future immortal life? Now, our Saviour has given us instructions what we should do. We are to be constantly fitting ourselves to come into possession of the heavenly inheritance, to bring sweetness and joy and goodness right into our daily life. I want Christ. I want Him to be with me. I want strength, I want His grace. Can we consider ourselves Christians merely because we make a profession? Not unless we carry out the principles.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 22

    The prayer of Christ before He left the world was “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] Now what kind of a sacrifice did Christ make? He came here to show what it meant to be a Christian, in kindness, in love, in temperance, in all things to be a perfect pattern. Why, to profess to be a Christian is nothing. It is nothing at all. You may be placed in positions of trust, you may become ministers, you may become pastors, you may become all these, and yet there is a selfishness woven into the web that Christ or God does not accept. What we want is to be in a position to give the light of truth just where it should be given. Here we have so much that God would have us take up, and that in taking up we shall learn.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 23

    Here we have John 20:1. How hard it was for them to believe that Christ would do just exactly as He said He would do. He said He would rise from the dead the third day. They had forgotten all about it. The comfort of this that should have been with them, they had forgotten, and so the comfort that will be with a true father and a true mother takes care of their home life, teaching the older daughters to take up the responsibilities of life just as soon as they are able to take them up. Bow with them in prayer. When they have a temper that perhaps the mother or the father has given them, the poor little children need sympathy and love and pity and compassion. Bring them along tenderly. Appetites and passions are to be brought under obedience to the law.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 24

    We shall see things that we do not dream of yet. We shall see violence and crime that shows that Satan has the possession of minds and characters in our world, that Satan has the possession of the world, as it were, excepting those that have given themselves unreservedly to Jesus Christ.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 25

    And He is coming in a little while in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. What we want is to be in a position of educating, educating, educating for the future immortal life.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 26

    I want to go to this party, one child says. Yes, but how is it that a Christian mother will allow it? What right have you to allow you children to be with those that are not under the influence of the children of God? We are accountable for the influence we are exerting in this world. And there are many, many who claim to be teachers in the very truths we profess that will find that they are not converted when the trial comes. They do not understand. They are not prepared. They have not lived on the plan of addition. “Add to your faith virtue ... temperance,” temperance in eating, temperance in dress. [2 Peter 1:5, 6.] God has money in this world to do missionary work, and what are you doing about it? Are you piling it on furniture in your house, or on your body in dress? Are you indulging yourselves in this way?22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 27

    Now, Christ gave His whole life and all His being for us. It was a costly sacrifice. And if you make nothing of it, and do not seek to practice the plan of addition, place yourself where you can see what you need, and not seek to add every penny you can get to the indulgence, and to put all your money on any such things as this. No; you want to be where you can exert a sacred, holy influence.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 28

    Here we have the word coming to us from all nations and tongues and people. We are entering this field, and now we are trying to learn the language. And then they tell how they have to get along in their life work. It is a life of continual self-denial and continual sacrifice. They are trying to work out the plan of salvation. “Add to your faith virtue ... cannot see far off.” [Verses 5-9.] Now, we want a great deal more praying in our meetings. We want a great deal more educating in the very way that we can pursue to meet the mind of Jesus Christ. What a life of self-denial, and what a life of self-sacrifice! And He was working out our salvation. Christ Jesus was working out our salvation, that we might have that life—how can I describe it? It measures with the life of God. It is everlasting life.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 29

    Now He told His disciples that they must go out and do the work and it must go. They must do the works that He has done, and “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Why not take up the work? Here is the commission: Matthew 28:16-20.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 30

    Now I do not want to take up any more time, but I want to ask you if there is praying and humility and humbling of the soul before God, that when you leave this meeting you will leave with an experience far in advance of what you have had heretofore. What we want is that every soul of us should search our own hearts. What we need is for us to pray most earnestly to God in a humble manner, that we may be prepared, that we shall not be found commandment breakers, that we shall not be found among those that will not put themselves out of line in any way unless it just agreed with you to put yourself out of line, that you will be accomplishing a work that shall bring souls to Jesus Christ.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 31

    You want every soul in your family. You want a contribution box. You want that box to educate your children to put in their pennies and their silver bits in that box. If you could see the letters that are written to us that are engaged in the important work of publishing, that we may get the light out everywhere. We want to build a cheap meetinghouse, and they will ask in a modest way if they cannot have some help in doing it. Now what can I say? I have devoted all the royalty of my books in Europe, that they may be multiplied, multiplied, and they have been multiplied, thousands and thousands of dollars to try to help them in that field. And there are others that are working constantly in everything possible to advance the work in these fields, foreign fields, striving for the truth, longing for the truth. And who is it that is preparing themselves to take right hold of the work with these souls, to teach them, to educate them?22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 32

    We want more prayer. What we want is prayer to God, to humble our hearts before Him, and to walk in all humility of mind, and right on this campground is a good place for you to begin, to begin in your tent. We used always to have it in the early morning, and I presume you do here. Educate, educate in Bible lines, and then pray. Take right hold of God as though you knew He was a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God, that He will hear our petition, and that we may receive the great grace of God in our hearts.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 33

    I came here to tell you this more than anything else, and I want to tell you that the Lord God of heaven will answer the prayer of humble faith. But we are far away from where we should be. Far away. Self, self, self is striving for the monopoly. Self is striving for the prominence and self-indulgence, but we are to be a people to stand before the world as a representation of Christ’s self-denial. He came into our world to die for us, to give His life for us, and they mocked Him, and they put a crown of thorns upon His head. They opposed Him in every way possible, that human beings could do, and it was the devil that led them to do it, and the time of trouble is right before us. We are right in it now. We are in it in these cities, but God helps us. We want to know what it means to be converted. We do not half of us know. We are not converted. We have tugged along all our own natural temperaments, our own natural ideas, and we carry them with us, and that has been one thing that has led me to this camp meeting.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 34

    I have been so sick since I have been here, and I did not know as I could say anything. But I want to tell you it is coming right to Jesus in the simplicity of childhood and ask Him just what you need, and be ready to make any and every sacrifice for Jesus Christ. All the money is His, all the possession is His. It is just loaned us to see what object we would put His treasure to, and I want to say, Seek Him, seek Him here while He is to be found, call upon Him while He is nigh, humble your hearts before Him, and work, O work as for your life. God wants every one that is here today to know what it means to sacrifice for the truth. He wants every soul to get rid of that which never will find an entrance into the kingdom of glory.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 35

    It is self that has grown to such proportions that you do not know anything about what Christ’s life was, denial at every point, and then He stood there to be crowned with thorns. They spit in His face, they mocked Him, they derided Him—and all this, what was it for? That you might learn what it means to have the purchase of your soul that God has given to Christ to give His life for you. Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 36

    Now I want to ask you if this is not the time, I suppose you have been having a few meetings, but is not this the time that we seek the Lord, every one of us? Is it not the time now, to seek Him? Isn’t it time to offer yourselves unreservedly to God? Are there any here that are unconverted, that you can labor with them all through this meeting until you can win them to Christ? Now, here are seats, and I want to know if right here is not the time for every one of us to seek to empty our souls of self; for God has shown me that selfishness is interwoven in the web, and He will not accept the pattern unless every thread of it is withdrawn. This is why there is so little of conversion when our souls ought to be converted, and when the salvation of God ought to be revealed in a much more distinct manner than it is.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 37

    I ask you if there are any here that want to take their stand for Jesus. If there is a determination to rid yourself from everything that would separate you from God, you must have a clearer eyesight than you have now. It is not to understand all about faith: you may understand that, that does not do. It is to carry into the practice the self-denial that Christ has presented to you, that you may go here and there and somewhere else and be telling souls what they shall do to be saved.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 38

    Heaven, heaven—it is worth everything—persevering, untiring effort from ourselves. Every one take charge of his own self, according to the Scriptures, and that tells you decidedly what to do.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 39

    We can see the salvation of God in our camp meetings, or we need not see it, just according to the course we pursue. If we begin in simplicity, if we beg of God for His grace, He heareth us. But do we realize what our individual selves need, what we have to put away, what we have to crucify, and that if we shall come to Him in meekness and lowliness of heart, we shall realize the salvation of God right here upon the ground? What we want is Christ to walk through our midst. We want Him to walk through this very tent and the salvation of God be revealed.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 40

    I do not know as I can say anything more, but if there is any one that wants to seek the Lord with all determination of heart, here are seats, come right forward, come right forward and seek the Lord if you have backslidden from Him and if you do not understand. If you become impatient, and if you become talkative, and you can talk of others’ faults, and you can talk and talk and show a spirit that is unchristlike and God is displeased, now let that die.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 41

    Who wants to stand in right relation to God, and who wants to be brought where they know they have a living connection with God? I ask you, Will you manifest it right here? Will you begin this very day to put away self, ministers or people, every one is in danger, it has been opened before me so distinctly that I understand. I cannot tell you the particulars; for you are not ready for it, but I want to say, Will you seek the Lord while He may be found, will you draw nigh unto Him that He may draw nigh unto you, will you humble your hearts before God, and may it be a time here of seeking God, of heart-searching, of repentance, of seeking God with all the heart while you are at this meeting?22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 42

    I would not have tarried on the way, nothing could have tempted me to, only just that I might say a word that would be a help and blessing to those that are here. And I want to tell you, We are not ready for Christ’s coming. There is to be a humility of mind, there is to be an order of spirit in the truth, that we will “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16.] O, there is a discipline we must have to open ourselves to Him, there is a wrestling with God until we know the voice of praise shall ascend to Him right from this campground. It may be so.22LtMs, Ms 189, 1907, par. 43

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