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    March 19, 1891



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    THE third meeting of the Association was held Wednesday, March 18, at 9 A. M. Elder R. C. Porter led in prayer. The president being absent, Elder W. H. Wakeham was voted to the chair. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.1

    The regular order of business being proceeded with, it was moved to adopt the report of the Committee on Revision of Constitution and plans (BULLETIN p.126).GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.2

    It was moved by M. C. Wilcox to amend Article II of the report, so that it would read, “The object of this Association shall be to advance the cause of health,” etc.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.3

    It was also moved by I. H. Evans to amend Section 2, of Article III so that it would read, “The Executive Board, together with the Conference Committee of each local Conference shall appoint,” etc.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.4

    It was moved to amend Section 3, Art. III., so that it would read, “All the officers provided for in Section 2 of this article shall work under the direction of the Executive Board of the Association and the Conference Committee of each local society.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.5

    It was moved to amend Section 1, of Art. IV., by striking out the word “full.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.6

    Elders Wakeham and Porter stated, in behalf of the committee, that all of these amendments were in accordance with the intention of the framers of the Constitution.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.7

    It was moved by A. O. Tait that Section 1, of Article IV., be further amended by striking out the words “of good moral character.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.8

    While this question was being discussed, the hour for adjournment arrived, and the meeting adjourned to the next regular appointment on the program.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.9


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    THE fourteenth meeting of the Conference was opened at 10:30 A. M., March 18. Prayer was offered by Elder Haskell.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.10

    After the reading of the minutes, reports of committees were called for. The Committee on Resolutions presented the following:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.11

    Whereas, The establishing of many small and local papers in different States must inevitably involve no small outlay of time, strength, and means, which might be applied in other directions with seemingly more promise of advantage to our cause; and, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.12

    Whereas, The presence of such papers naturally leads the laborers in Conferences where they exist to confine their correspondence to these local organs, and withhold their reports and other items of interest from those papers which are designed to circulate in all parts of the field, and thus to be a channel of communication for all our people; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.13

    1. Resolved, That the General Conference Association be invited to take into special consideration the propriety of continuing such papers, or increasing their number, and to present to those whom it may concern, some recommendation with reference thereto.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.14

    Whereas, We are informed that some have taken undue advantage of privileges granted by railroad corporations, in the matter of clerical rates, resulting in such favors being granted to parties who were not strictly entitled to them; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.15

    2. Resolved, That we express our disapprobation of such a course and recommend that great care be exercised not to abuse any such privileges granted by the railroad companies.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.16

    3. Resolved, That all ministers of the denomination who are entitled to clerical rates, make application to the respective railroad corporations, through one of the members of the Committee on Transportation appointed by this Conference.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 161.17

    4. Resolved, That the above preamble and resolutions, also the names of the Transportation Committee, appointed by this General Conference, be printed in suitable form, and copies placed in the hands of said committee, for presentation to the management of the railroads with whom they may have dealings.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.1

    The Committee on Nominations presented a partial report submitting the names of twenty-one persons to constitute the General Conference Association Executive Board.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.2

    On motion the rules were suspended that the report of the Committee on Nominations might be acted upon.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.3

    Elder Olsen called Elder Haskell to the chair, and said: This work in which we are engaged is beginning to take on large dimensions. When the work first started, there were no organizations of any kind; but as the work has grown, organizations have become necessary to assist in carrying forward the work. At the last session of the Conference the Foreign Mission Board was organized, and the results already show the wisdom of that move.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.4

    A few years ago, we found it necessary to organize the General Conference Association. Institutions were springing up here and there all over the country, and we wanted a corporation that could take charge of these institutions. We all say now that it was a good thing. It now seems desirable to have a larger and more representative Board. The Board now consists of five members. The Conference has recommended, by an action taken a few days ago, that this Board be increased to twenty-one. In order to take the necessary legal steps to make this change, it is necessary that the Board of twenty-one should be elected at once. With a representative Board, the General Conference Association will be fully prepared to receive donations, bequests, gifts, etc., for the interests of the denomination.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.5

    There were some questions raised as to the representation of districts, and action on the report was made a special order for 3 P. M.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.6

    The special order of the day, the consideration of the report of the Committee on Resolutions, found on page 92 of the BULLETIN, was taken up.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.7

    Before discussing the report, the committee asked the privilege of inserting the word “religious” before the word “work” in the first lines of the ninth and tenth propositions of the report.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.8

    A motion by Elder Corliss to insert the word “liberty” between the words “religious work” in the same sections, as being in harmony with the general subject of the report, was lost by two votes.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.9

    The Chair stated that as the different propositions of the report were so intimately connected, that it would probably be best to consider them all together, and not each one separately.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.10

    Brother L. C. Chadwick requested that, as in the consideration of other reports, the chairman of the Committee presenting this report be requested to state the design and scope of the propositions.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.11

    Prof. Prescott, the chairman of the committee, stated that he thought the propositions were definite and plain, and that it was not the object of the committee in presenting them to strike at anything in particular, but to get before the Conference a principle for consideration.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.12

    Elder Haskell asked if proposition eight would not exclude from gospel work all organizations that are not purely church organizations. There are organizations that do not believe the truth as we hold it, yet God is blessing them, and they are doing a good work. This is especially true in foreign lands. Would not this proposition exclude all such and say that their work was not accepted of God?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.13

    Prof. Prescott said that he understands that the church which really constitutes the body of Christ, is broader than the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and takes in those who are earnestly seeking to know Christ, no matter where they are found.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.14

    Brother Chadwick said if we could not do anything to advance the cause of truth except as “acting in the capacity of a church,” as stated in proposition nine, how would that effect our various organizations that are not, strictly speaking, church organizations? Here is our General Conference Association, our Publishing Association, our Sanitarium, etc. These are all corporations that cannot be strictly called religious bodies. Yet can we deny that they are instrumental in advancing the work?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.15

    Elder A. T. Jones replied that these various corporations were simply arms of the regular church organization. The General Conference represents the entire Seventh-day Adventist Church, and can do a work through the corporations mentioned better than it can do it by any other means. Working in this way the church is advancing its cause through these various organizations, but it is the church directing the work just the same.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.16

    Elder E. J. Waggoner said these propositions were only to bring these points sharply before our minds. The church of Christ is undeniably those who are united to him and none others. And just so far as we fail to preach the whole gospel, just that far we fail to preach full religious liberty.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.17

    While it is true that the church of Christ really embraces all who are striving to know his will, yet there is a sense in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the church of Christ more than any other. Every other church is founded upon some one or two leading points of doctrine, while the Adventist Church, confining itself to no creed, takes the entire Bible, and is seeking to know the whole gospel of Christ.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.18

    Elder D. T. Jones said that if, as stated by a previous speaker, the church is composed of those everywhere who are seekers after Christ, then the whole church is not a single organized body. This being the case, how can the church, “acting in the capacity of a church,” do all the lines of work Christ would have done in the earth?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 162.19

    He further stated that there were several reasons why he was not in favor of passing on such propositions in Conference. In the first place he considered that it would be legislating on questions that we do not need to legislate upon. It would be tying us up too much, abridging our freedom of action, and circumscribing our field of usefulness. The question involved he thought very similar in nature to one which, as many would remember who were present, was presented and discussed at the last General Conference. We then received very clear light from Sister White that we should not vote upon such questions in our Conference.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.1

    He said these propositions are all right in themselves, when viewed from one standpoint; but when viewed from another, there were some objections to them. We should deal with questions in the concrete and not in the abstract. While a theory might as a theory appear all right, yet when we come to apply it, we find that on account of certain circumstances and conditions it is not practicable.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.2

    A theocracy is the best and most perfect form of government there is, but under the existing state of things it is not practicable. The government recognizes us as citizens, and not as church members. When we appear before a legislative committee of Congress or of the various State Legislatures, in the interests of religious liberty, we appear before them in the capacity of citizens and not of a church; we demand that our rights shall be respected, not because we belong to the church of Christ, or are Seventh-day Adventists, but because we are citizens.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.3

    The hour for adjourning having passed, the Conference took a recess until 3 P. M.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.4


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    The Conference convened again at 3 o’clock for the further consideration of the partial report presented by the Committee on Nominations. The report as finally brought in by the Committee is as follows:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.5

    General Conference Association Executive Board. - O. A. Olsen, S. N. Haskell, W. C. White, W. W. Prescott, Dan. T. Jones, A. T. Robinson, S. H. Lane, R. M. Kilgore, A. R. Henry, H. Lindsay, J. N. Loughborough, Geo. A. Irwin, J. P. Gardner, J. H. Morrison, R. C. Porter, A. J. Breed, R. S. Donnell, Wm. Saunders, J. E. Graham, H. W. Decker, M. C. Wilcox.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.6

    The report was adopted. The meeting then adjourned.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.7


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    IMMEDIATELY upon the adjournment of the fourteenth meeting of the General Conference, the International Tract Society convened, and after the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, proceeded at once to the consideration of the constitution proposed by the Committee on Constitution and Future Work, which had been printed on slips and circulated among the members present, for examination and criticism, before publication in the BULLETIN.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.8

    Elder W. C. White, chairman of the committee, explained at some length the changes which the committee had proposed to be made, and the reasons for the same.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.9

    Elder J. O. Corliss thought that the articles (1 and 2) relating to the name and objects should state plainly that the society is a Seventh-day Adventist society, and that it is the literature of this denomination, relating to the subjects of religion, temperance, and education, that it designs to circulate.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.10

    Elder M. B. Miller also thought that the designations in this respect should not be left open and indefinite.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.11

    The discussion on the article relating to membership, the payment of ten dollars to become life members, and one dollar to become annual members brought out the fact that these regulations were not made solely for the purpose of securing money to carry on the work of the society, but to have something by which to form a basis upon which to determine who is eligible to vote in the meetings of the Society.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.12

    The following is a copy of the constitution with the amendments made at this meeting, final action being deferred until the constitution as amended could appear in the BULLETIN for further inspection:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.13


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    THIS Society shall be known as the International Tract and Missionary Society.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.14


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    The objects of this Society are, (1) to publish and circulate religious, temperance, and educational literature; (2) to disseminate information in regard to home and foreign missions, and raise funds for their support; (3) to organize, assist, and have the oversight of national, state, and colonial auxiliary societies.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.15


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    Persons may become life members of this Society by the payment of ten dollars; or annual members by the payment of one dollar. Both annual and life members shall be entitled to certificates of membership.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.16


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    SECTION 1. The management of this Society shall be vested in a board of fifteen directors, six of whom shall be elected by the Society at its biennial sessions; the other nine shall be the members of the Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 163.17

    SEC. 2. Within fifteen days after its election, the Board shall organize, by electing, from the six directors chosen by the Society, a president, a vice-president, and a recording secretary.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.1

    SEC. 3. The Board shall appoint a treasurer, an auditor, a general canvassing agent, and a district canvassing agent for each of the General Conference districts, two or more corresponding secretaries, and as many assistant secretaries as may be deemed necessary.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.2

    SEC. 4. The Board of Directors shall fill any vacancy that may occur in its numbers.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.3


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    This Society shall be represented at its biennial sessions, by the delegates to the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference, the officers of State, colonial, and national auxiliary societies, and by life and annual members.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.4


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    The funds of the Society, shall consist of receipts for life and annual memberships and donations from societies and individuals.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.5


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    SECTION 1. This Society shall convene biennially for the election of six directors and the transaction of necessary business, at such time and place as the Board of Directors may appoint.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.6

    SEC. 2. Special meetings may be called by a majority of the Board of Directors at such times and places as they shall deem necessary for the interests of the organization.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.7


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    This Constitution may be amended by a two thirds vote at any biennial session.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.8

    Your Committee suggest the following changes in our system ofGCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.9


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    1. The librarians shall collect from the members, weekly, when practicable, and at least quarterly, the following items of work done:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.10

    (a) Number of missionary letters written.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.11

    (b) Number of letters received.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.12

    (c) Number of Bible readings held.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.13

    2. The librarians shall report the above items quarterly to the State secretary; and in addition thereto, the retail value of all books, pamphlets, tracts, and leaflets furnished to members during the quarter.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.14

    The State secretary shall render each quarter to the corresponding secretary of the International Tract and Missionary Society a report compiled from the reports of the librarians, together with the following items to be collected from his books:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.15

    1. The retail value of all publications furnished to individuals, not included in reports of librarians.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.16

    2. The value of all periodicals ordered for missionary purposes throughout his society.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.17

    3. The retail value of all subscription books sold by canvassers during the quarter.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.18

    We further recommend that the president, and two corresponding secretaries of the Society shall be a standing Committee on Blanks.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.19

    The Committee on Resolutions submitted the following:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.20

    Whereas, There is a general demand for small tracts on practical subjects; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.21

    19. Resolved, That we request that a series of tracts be published on the following subjects: Repentance and Conversion, Brotherly Love, The Love of God, The Golden Rule, Faith, Prayer, Conscience as a Guide, and such other subjects as may seem necessary; these tracts to be printed on thin but good paper, the size of the page not to exceed five and one half by three and one fourth inches, and the number of pages not to exceed sixteen.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.22

    20. Resolved, That we request that a series of small tracts and leaflets be published on the leading points of our faith and objections thereto, for gratuitous distribution.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.23

    Whereas, The Health and Social Purity leaflets issued by the Good Health Publishing Co., have been found to be of great benefit in the missionary work; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.24

    21. Resolved, That we ask the Good Health Publishing Co., to continue this series of excellent publications.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.25

    Whereas, There has been demand for a large amount of Religious Liberty Literature at a small cost; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.26

    22. Resolved, That we approve of the action of the officers of this society, in regard to handling this literature without profit.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.27

    Whereas, The society has facilities for the distribution of a large amount of reading matter, through its auxiliary societies and agents; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.28

    23. Resolved, That we recommend, That the society continue to give this literature a wide circulation.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.29

    Whereas, the literature published by the N. R. L. A. is furnished to the society at actual cost: therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.30

    24. Resolved, That we recommend, That the auxiliary societies handle this literature without profit, thus enabling the largest distribution possible with the means expended.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.31

    M. C. WILCOX, ]
    C. ELDRIDGE, ] Committee.
    W. S. HYATT, ]

    The Committee on Constitution and Plans of Work submitted the following:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.32

    Whereas, There are many colonies, foreign fields, and mission stations, which for lack of men and means cannot now be entered; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.33

    Resolved, That we recommend the managers of this society to employ secretaries who are conversant with the leading foreign languages, to pioneer these fields by correspondence, and the circulation of our literature.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.34

    Whereas, The efficiency of the work of our State, national, and colonial auxiliary societies, depends much upon experienced corresponding secretaries; therefore, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.35

    Resolved, That we recommend that arrangements be made either in the Chicago or Battle Creek office for the training of suitable persons for this work.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.36

    The Committee on New Books presented their report as follows:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.37

    Your Committee appointed to examine new books beg leave to submit the following recommendations:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.38

    Of new books in English, we would recommend:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.39

    1. “Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene,” a recent publication, chiefly from the pen of Sister White, a book of great importance for the present time. We consider it of vital consequence that the tract societies take hold of this work with earnestness, that it may be placed in the hands of all our people.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.40

    2. “From Eden to Eden,” a book of great merit, simple in expression, clear and comprehensive in argument, and a valuable addition to the list of subscription books.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.41

    3. Year Book for 1891, a valuable encyclopedia on the standing and progress of the message in all parts of the field. It ought to be in every family of Seventh-day Adventists. A comparative study of it with those of former years, would be a means of encouragement to all.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 164.42

    4. New numbers of Bible Students Library. a. “Christ and his Righteousness” just issued, is a treatise on practical godliness. It shows the relation between the law and Sabbath and the gospel, and is especially designed to lead the people to exalted views of Christ. It should have a wide circulation among ministers and Christians of all denominations, as a valuable pioneer in the third angel’s message.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.1

    b. “The Full Assurance of Faith” should have a general circulation outside of our churches to prepare the way for doctrinal literature.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.2

    c. The tracts entitled “Sin and Righteousness” and “Prophecies,” contain valuable reading and notes on the subjects treated as especially adapted to the fields where tent meetings are held.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.3

    5. We believe the social condition of the present day makes the use of such tracts as, “the Training of Girls,” “Novels,” “A Word to Mothers,” and “Wild Oats,” issued by Good Health Pub. Co., of more than ordinary importance, and we believe our State tract societies would do a valuable work, in supplying their canvassers with as many of these tracts for free distribution as they can judiciously handle.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.4

    6. Young People’s Library.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.5

    a. The work entitled, “Letters from the Holy Land,” we commend as eminently adapted to give much needed information in regard to the habits and customs referred to in the Scriptures, and consequently a most valuable work to be perused by Bible students and to be placed in Sabbath-school libraries.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.6

    b. The books entitled, “Fiji and Samoa,” and “The Tonga Islands and Other Groups,” are very readable and instructive productions, well calculated to interest the reader in missionary work in the islands of the Pacific.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.7


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    Whereas, Vol. IV. of “Great Controversy” is now ready in the German language; and, -GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.8

    Whereas, This work seems especially adapted for sale among this nationality, we recommend it for use of canvassers, and also that in harmony with a recent resolution, steps be taken for a speedy and systematic sale of the work among our German churches.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.9

    8. “History of the Sabbath,” by J. N. Andrews, revised, enlarged and provided with many excellent extracts of German works by L. R. Conradi, is a work of nearly 600 pages, which should be in every German family.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.10

    “Civil Government and Religion,” the excellent pamphlet of A. T. Jones, setting forth the principles of religious liberty, is ready in the German language. The importance of the scattering of this work cannot be emphasized enough. The principles set forth are endorsed by most Germans, and thus the sale of this pamphlet and also the “Views on National Reform,” affords excellent opportunity of presenting the warning message. They should be handled by the churches throughout the land.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.11

    “Matthew Twenty-four” is well adapted for the use of canvassers and missionary workers. Thousands have been sold, where a book sale could not be effected, and good results have been seen “Lebensbilder fur Jung und Alt” (Life Pictures for Young and Old) a translation of Sabbath Readings, Vol. 1, is indeed timely, and therefore heartily recommended.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.12

    12. “Vergiszmeinnicht” (Forget me not), a little work published in Basel, is used by our European canvassers, and has proved a help to them.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.13


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    13. “Bible readings for the Home Circle” is now published in the Danish language and contains 167 readings. It is also published in the Swedish language and contains 150 readings. This book ought to be in every Scandinavian family of Seventh-day Adventists. Thorough efforts should also be made to put these books into the homes of Scandinavians, wherever they may be found.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.14

    14. “The Great Controversy” has been translated into the Danish language. We would recommend that the tract societies do all they can to give this book the widest circulation possible.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.15

    15. “Civil Government and Religion” is now published in the Danish and Swedish languages, and meets a long-felt want among the Scandinavians. Earnest efforts should be made to supply these people with this valuable little work.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.16

    16. A new Swedish hymn book called “Sions Sanger” has been published of late. It is a book of 322 pages and contains 569 hymns and tunes on 39 different subjects. All who have carefully examined the book speak in highest terms of it. Every Seventh-day Adventist family that can read the Swedish language should have a copy of this valuable hymn book.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.17

    17. Of Sabbath-school lesson books in the Danish language we would recommend the following:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.18

    1. “Bible Lesson for the Little Ones,” which contains fifty lessons.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.19

    2. “Bible Lessons for the Sabbath-school, in two parts, in two small books. The first part contains forty lessons, and the second sixty-four lessons.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.20

    3. “Bible Lessons for the Youth” contain sixty lessons on Creation, Redemption, and the Prophecies. This book should be carefully studied by the youth who speak this language.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.21

    4. In the Swedish language we find “Bible Lessons for the Larger Children.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.22

    All these books should be used by children and youth who speak these languages.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.23


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    18. “La Grande Controverse” (Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, During the Christian Dispensation). Two French editions of this book have been issued since the last meeting of the International Tract and Missionary Society; a European edition, at Basel, Switzerland, toward the end of 1889, and an American edition, at Battle Creek, Mich., in the beginning of 1891. The mission of this work is, first of all, among the believers in present truth. It should be read in the family circle and among interested neighbors. It should also be widely circulated by canvassers among the French Protestants.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.24

    19. “Ecrin de Perles” (Gem of Pearls, or Sabbath Readings) a neat little volume of 410 pages, recently issued at Basel, Switzerland. It contains fifty moral sketches of narratives, designed to illustrate the principles of the gospel, by actual facts and incidents. These excellent narratives are well adapted to inculcate in our children, principles of order, industry, benevolence, and affection, and to take the place of the common but dangerous grade of popular readings for the youth.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.25

    This is also a first class volume to circulate, through canvassing or otherwise, among any French speaking families, where it is sure to exert an elevating influence.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.26

    20. Four Religious Liberty Leaflets in French were published in the fall of 1890.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.27

    They are the following: “Legislation Religieuse,” 2 pp.; “La Politique dans la Religion,” 4 pp.; “Dieu dans la Constitution,” 2 pp.; “Israel une Republique,” 4 pp. Tract societies where there are members speaking the French, or having French acquaintances or neighbors, would do well to have a supply of these, to insert in their letters or judiciously distribute around them; they will interest the minds in the great religious problems which are being agitated now, and will be more so in the near future.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 165.28

    “L’Etat devant la Conscience.” (State versus Conscience), by Alexander Vinet, a prominent European writer on religious liberty. This eight page tract if an extract from his works and is well adapted to convince the educated classes that the State has no other relation to religion than to respect and protect its free exercise. This tract also affords all the members of our churches a good opportunity to enlighten the people.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.1

    The Committee on Finance introduced the following report:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.2

    To the International Tract and Missionary Society:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.3

    Your Committee on Finances has given careful attention to the question of funds for the carrying forward of the work of the society.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.4

    We recognize, (1) That the work of the society is invaluable in opening up new fields, and preparing the way for the living missionary; (2) That the work done through the society is accomplished at much less expense than it could be done in any other way; (3) That the work of the society is purely in the interests of the third angel’s message.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.5

    We would therefore recommend, (a) That the Foreign Mission Board be requested to appropriate for the society from time to time funds for work in foreign countries; (b) That the General Conference be requested to appropriate from time to time funds for work in the home fields.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.6

    DAN. T. JONES, ]
    W. C. WHITE, ] Committee.
    R. C. PORTER, ]

    The meeting adjourned.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.7


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    I AM sorry to be obliged to come before you with very little preparation this morning. I hoped to have had last night at least to spend in preparation, but an unexpected and tedious surgical operation in the night, occupied my time, and I have had but an hour to bring together the facts which I have gathered to present to you. As I have been looking over for the first time the details of the collection of statistics which I have made in relation to our orphans, I have many times found the tears running down my face this morning in thinking of how these poor little ones are neglected.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.8

    I find myself a member of this Conference as a delegate at large, and as I am not expected to represent any one in particular, I have concluded to represent the unrepresented, and so am glad to be here this morning to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.9

    As I talk to you, I want you to see behind me here, looking at you, the pathetic faces of several hundred innocent children, who are not old enough to speak for themselves, who do not appreciate their need of opportunities, and who have not the opportunity to urge their own cause.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.10

    First of all let me ask your attention to the claims which orphan children have upon us as a people. In the first place, human sentiments call for attention to the orphan, the friendless, the weak, and the helpless. Even the suffering of a helpless brute appeals to our sympathies. We have societies for the suppression of cruelty to animals; we ought, perhaps, to have more sympathy for dumb brutes than we have. Certainly we ought to have a tender sympathy and regard for our helpless fellow-beings. In every nation from the earliest times down to the present time, there has been some provision made for the caring of the friendless, the helpless, and the needy.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.11

    It seems really when we consider the matter, a very great surprise, a matter of very great astonishment, that this organized body of between 40,000 and 50,000 members has never yet made any systematic provision for the care of orphan and friendless children. We have some provisions made for the sick poor, but none for those not sick. I am sure you would appreciate this matter very much more if you could be placed at the Sanitarium for a few months, or only a few weeks, and listen to the loud knocks made upon our doors by those who want, and need, not medical treatment, but simply a home.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.12

    I think perhaps I will tell you how I became interested in this work. When I was a school-boy, the hight of my ambition was to fit myself to train children. My ideal dream was to go somewhere in a wilderness and grow up with the people, and have a chance to educate their children. I thought it over a great deal, and I began teaching school when I was sixteen years of age. I should have devoted my life entirely to that line of work if I had had an opportunity. I told my mother when I was a small boy I would be anything but a doctor. The profession, it seemed to me, was so repulsive; the sight of blood and the unpleasant smells of the hospitals made me faint and sick. It was a great hardship to me to engage in the work at the Sanitarium. I only went in reluctantly, after I had been urged for a year or two, to stay one year; but I got in and have not been able to get away.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.13

    For a good many years I bemoaned that I could not do what I wanted to do. I used to think it would be a very happy life to train up little ones, and watch their minds develop. But it occurred to me, some six or seven years ago, that after all I had a better opportunity now to do what I wanted to do, than I ever had had before. And so I began picking up little ones, as opportunity offered, until I had gathered as many as it was possible for Mrs. Kellogg and myself to care for. And I find it a most delightful work.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.14

    First, a little orphan girl came into our hands, and for the first few weeks I thought it was not such delightful work as I thought it would be. She had a very bad temper, which had to be subdued. When trying to write an article for Good Health, and at the same time surrounded by noise and confusion, I did not find it very inspiring; nevertheless the little one gradually came to terms and became subdued, and has come to be one of our most promising and delightful children.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 166.15

    A little while afterward I saw a notice in a paper, of a case that touched my heart. A poor woman had died and left behind two little children, - a little boy and a little girl. The father had died of consumption the year before; the mother had lingered along, and finally had contracted the same disease, and she lay dying in an attic. The little girl, only six years of age, was sent to work caring for a neighbor’s baby, after her father died, to help earn something for the mother; for they were too spirited to be willing to take help from the town. While her father was living, during his dying hours the little girl watched by her father’s bedside all night long. The mother cared for him during the day, and the little girl at night. By and by the father died and left them with nothing. By and by the mother died, - I presume as much from starvation as from consumption, - and the little boy was found all alone with his dying mother, and eating the last morsel of food in the house, - a tallow candle!GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.1

    One would suppose that in the midst of an intelligent community there would be somebody ready to take these little children in. One poor woman who already had a large family, took the children in for a few days, and as she could not keep them, put a notice in a paper. I saw it, and immediately sent a telegram, saying, “I will take those children.” I sent a person to Illinois to bring them here. They have been with us two or three years now. I have asked the little boy to come down here so that you could look at him. Now it is not any hardship to take such children. It is a blessing to receive such little ones into one’s home; it is not a burden; it is a privilege.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.2

    By and by a poor lady, dying with consumption, came to the Sanitarium. I found that she could live but a short time, and I said to the poor woman, after she had been with us a day or two, “I fear there is no hope for you.” She inquired if she could not get home. “No,” I said, “you cannot go home; I fear you will not live to get home.” And she immediately burst into tears. Her husband had died two years before of consumption; she contracted the disease from him, and she had been trying hard to get to the Sanitarium, and had just managed to get here, hardly alive. I knew she could not leave to go home; for she would be liable to die on the cars all alone. The poor woman said with tears streaming down her face, “What shall I do with my children?” and she told me for the first time that she had four children, - two boys and two girls. I asked a few words about them, and told her I would take care of the children, so she sent and had them brought, and we have them with us. This lady proved to be a Seventh-day Baptist, a very excellent woman. I thought that the circumstances were such that it must be a worthy case, and so I took the four children without seeing them, but they proved to be very smart, bright, capable children.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.3

    When I was in England two years ago, I heard of a family of poor Sabbath-keepers, that lived on the Isle of Wight, that had a family of eleven children. The father wished to part with some of his little ones, because there were so many that he could not feed them all. He could earn only a few shillings a week in consequence of keeping the Sabbath. And so one Friday I went down to the Isle of Wight, and found them living in a little hovel, neat as could be under the circumstances, but a damp, dark, dingy place; and I found there all these little ones huddled together with hardly room enough for them to move about, of all sizes from the child in arms up to children fourteen or fifteen years of age. One or two of the older children were away from home, trying to earn something for themselves. It was really a pitiful sight. They were nearly all sick, some had lost hearing in one ear. There were offensive ear discharges and bad catarrhs; yet all were well-behaved, obedient children, dressed as neatly as their scanty garments could make them.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.4

    I arrived there Friday afternoon; and when Friday evening came, they all kneeled down at the family altar, and every child prayed intelligently, even the little lisping four-year-old. On Sabbath morning they had a family Sabbath-school. It was interesting to see the girls of seven or eight teaching the little girls of four or five. And as I looked those children over during the day, revolving over in my mind which ones I would better take, I felt like a thief and a robber. I could hardly keep from hiding my head with shame, that I was to take some of those little ones away.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.5

    Both the parents and the children watched me closely. If I looked long at a child, I saw the others nod and whisper to one another, “She is going; he will take her.” The little ones evidently wanted to come. Their parents had great affection for them, but knew they could not give them proper care, and so had built up for them such brilliant pictures of America that they were anxious to be chosen. They would climb upon my lap and cluster about me, and now and then one would whisper softly, “Shall you take me?” By and by, with two of them, I started off, and as I looked back from the train, the parents who had accompanied us to the depot, were sobbing as though their hearts would break.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 167.6

    I brought them home, but felt guilty all the way, and did not feel quite conscience clear until I had written back and sent the man money enough to buy him a little ship of his own and enable him to care for the rest of the family in a better way. Now we have three from that family, and the rest of them are getting along very well. Very often the father would be gone for several days, and the last cent would be spent, and there would come a day that the family would be without one mouthful of bread. Their circumstances were peculiar; they were keeping the Sabbath, and it was that which interfered with their financial prosperity. And if they should ask for bread, the people would say, Why don’t you work six days in the week as other people do, and earn it?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.1

    We have picked up several other children until we now have thirteen; they make a great deal of frolic, fun, and noise, of course, but it seldom disturbs me now. I can sit down and write an article or dictate to the phonograph without difficulty. The good cheer often gives me inspiration. Children are not so much trouble as many people imagine.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.2

    Another reason why these orphans have claims upon us, is because they offer such a great opportunity for saving souls. We are interested in the heathen; we are going to send missionaries, by and by, to China, India, and to other parts of the world, to work for the poor, benighted heathen. Who are these heathen? - They are men, women, and children who are deteriorated mentally and morally, by long ages of heredity. You can never expect these benighted heathen to develop into the highest types of Christians; the missionaries do not expect it. The transformation which does occur in them under the influence of Christianizing civilization, is certainly very marvelous; and yet you can never make of these heathen - these blighted races, suffering from the depraving influences of thousands of years of ignorance and degradation - such men and women as can be expected of the orphans in our own land.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.3

    Now while we are feeling a burden for these heathen so far away - in which I heartily join - ought we not to feel a still greater burden for these little ones at home, whose souls are just as precious? It seems to me that the claims of these orphans upon us, in our own land, are ten times as great as the claims made upon us by the heathen in foreign lands. They are right at our door, right where we can lay our hands upon them. Think of the possibilities that are wrapped up in one of these little ones. Take a child whose mind has not yet been depraved, whose heart is still innocent. Its character is like a sheet of white paper: you can write upon that anything you please; you can scribble it all over; you can blot or deface it; or you can write upon it clear and legible characters, or draw upon it a beautiful picture. So with these children, whose souls are precious; they can be developed into precious and useful men and women if they are put under proper conditions.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.4

    Many instances are related in which the children of Sabbath-keeping families, have been lost to the cause, and lost for eternity, simply because there was no one to take them in when their parents died, no one to receive them. They had to go out into the heartless world, or fall into the hands of relatives who were not believers, who were not Christians even. They have gone away from God and from the truth, and have been irretrievably lost.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.5

    Now certainly here is a very important consideration, the opportunity to save these souls. Christ said, “Suffer the children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” We may think these little children’s souls do not amount to much; but they are the ones of whom Christ says, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” These little souls are guileless yet; they have not been defaced and deformed by sin; they are still pure and innocent; and what a grand thing it would be to save these untainted minds, these pure souls in that condition and develop their characters!GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.6

    I dare say that if we had had an institution twenty-five years ago, where orphans could have been trained, there would not be such a dearth of workers at the present time. It is a Christian duty we owe to care for these friendless orphans.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.7

    What does James say in James 1:27? - “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” To visit the fatherless must mean something more than simply to look at him or to glance at him as you go by on the street; it must mean to do something for him.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.8

    According to the psalmist (Psalm 10:14), God is “the helper of the fatherless.” If we are doing God’s work, we will help the fatherless, too. There is special instruction given, in the Bible, about the fatherless. Proverbs 23:10: “Enter not into the fields of the fatherless.” Exodus 22:22: “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.” Now it would be supposed, of course, that no one should be afflicted, but the Lord requires us to take special care of these dependent ones.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.9

    Neglect of widows and the fatherless was one of the principal sins for which the nations that wandered away from God, were accursed. Isaiah 10:1, 2: “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and ... that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!” There is a great woe pronounced upon these persons.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 168.10

    The Lord made provision in his instruction to the Jews, for the fatherless. The Jews were required, you remember, to give one tenth of their increase every third year, to the fatherless, to the Levites, to the widows, and to the strangers. Every third year one tenth of all the increase for that year was to be given to these four classes of persons who had no means of support. The Levites were not allowed to engage in secular business, and consequently, they must have their support from others; the needy stranger must be cared for; the widows and the fatherless had no one to support them, and they must be cared for by others. We have evidence in the Bible that God works with those that help the widows, the fatherless, and the poor.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.1

    This is not a new subject, and I do not want anybody to think I take to myself any credit for bringing this subject before you. If you take the volumes of the “Testimonies,” and look in volume 2, you will find something written in 1868, twenty-three years ago. And there you will find this expression: “There is a decided want of care for widows, orphans, and the feeble of the flock.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.2

    Pure religion and undefiled before the Father is this: “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Good deeds are the fruit that Christ requires us to bear; kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted. When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.3

    Is not that beautiful?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.4

    Again:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.5

    Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence, makes melody in heaven.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.6

    Is not that a grand thought? I cannot refrain from reading further:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.7

    The Father from his throne beholds those who do these acts of mercy, and numbers them with his most precious treasures. “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.8

    We all want to be there.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.9

    Every merciful act to the needy, the suffering, is regarded as though done to Jesus. When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.10

    These are such excellent words I am sure you will allow me to read more.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.11

    The poor, the homeless, and the widows are among us. I heard a wealthy farmer describe the situation of a poor widow among them. He lamented her straitened circumstances, and then said, “I don’t know how she is going to get along this cold winter. She has close times now.” Such have forgotten the pattern, and by their acts say, “Nay, Lord, we cannot drink of the cup of self-denial, humiliation, and sacrifice which you drank of, nor be baptized with the suffering which you were baptized with. We cannot live to do others good. It is our business to take care of ourselves.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.12

    Who should know how the widow should get along unless it be those who have well-filled granaries? The means for her to get along is at hand. And dare those whom God has made his stewards, to whom he has intrusted means, withhold from the needy disciples of Christ? If so, they withhold from Jesus. Do you expect the Lord to rain down grain from heaven to supply the needy? Has he not rather placed it in your hands, to help and bless them through you? Has he not made you his instrument in this good work to prove you, and to give you the privilege of laying up a treasure in heaven?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.13

    “Fatherless and motherless children are thrown into the arms of the church; and Christ says to his followers, Take these destitute children, bring them up for me, and ye shall receive your wages.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.14

    We have had orphans enough in this denomination, that have not had proper homes and education, during the last twenty-five years, to supply all our fields with missionaries, if we had only brought these children up for God, and trained them for the cause.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.15

    I have seen much selfishness exhibited in these things. Unless there is some special evidence that they themselves are to be benefited by adopting into their family those who need homes, some turn away and answer, No!GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.16

    When a child is to be taken, the question is, is it a beautiful child? is it a good-natured child? is it a child we would like to have for our own? That is the sort of questions we hear, and because almost everybody feels that way, we have need for an orphans’ home, where children that may not be considered the most desirable, can be taken and trained and made desirable children.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.17

    In the day of God, inquiry will be made for those whom Heaven gave them the opportunity of saving. [What a solemn thought]. But they wished to be excused, and would not engage in the good work unless they could make it a matter of profit to them. I have been shown that those who refuse these opportunities for doing good will hear from Jesus, “As ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Please read Isaiah 58:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.18

    “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 169.19

    This is the special work now before us. All our praying and abstinence from food will avail nothing, unless we resolutely lay hold of this work. Sacred obligations are resting upon us. Our duty is plainly stated. The Lord has spoken to us by his prophet. The thoughts of the Lord and his ways are not what blind, selfish mortals believe they are, or wish them to be. The Lord looks on the heart. If selfishness dwells there, he knows it. We may seek to conceal our true character from our brethren and sisters, but God knows. Nothing can be hid from him.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.1

    The fast which God can accept is described. It is to deal thy bread to the hungry, and to bring the poor which are cast out, to thy house. Wait not for them to come to you. The labor rests not on them to hunt you up, and entreat of you a home for themselves. You are to search for them, and bring them to your house. You are to draw out your soul after them. You are with one hand to reach up and by faith take hold of the mighty arm which brings salvation, while with the other hand of love you reach the oppressed, and relieve them. It is impossible for you to fasten upon the arm of God with one hand, while the other is employed in ministering to your own pleasure.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.2

    If you engage in this work of mercy and love, will the work prove too hard for you? Will you fail and be crushed under the burden, and your family be deprived of your assistance and influence? Oh no, God has carefully removed all doubts upon this question, by a pledge to you on conditions on your obedience. This promise covers all that the most exacting, the most hesitating, could crave. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Only believe that he is faithful that hath promised. God can renew the physical strength. And more, he says he will do it. And the promise does not end here. “Thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” God will build a fortification around thee.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.3

    The promise does not stop even here. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” If ye put down oppression and remove the speaking of vanity, if ye draw out your soul to the hungry, Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (famine), and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.4

    Read Isaiah 58, ye who claim to be the children of the light. Especially do you read it again and again who have felt so reluctant to inconvenience yourselves by favoring the needy. You whose hearts and houses are too narrow to make a home for the homeless, read it; you who can see orphans and widows oppressed by the iron hand of poverty, and bowed down by hard-hearted worldlings, read it. Are you afraid that an influence will be introduced into your family that will cost you more labor, read it. Your fears may be groundless, and a blessing may come, known and realized by you every day.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.5

    In Vol. 3, I find a whole chapter entitled, “Duty to the Unfortunate.” I read a paragraph or two:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.6

    I saw that it is in the providence of God that widows and orphans, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and persons afflicted in a variety of ways, have been placed in close Christian relationship to his church; it is to prove his people, and develop their true character. Angels of God are watching to see how we treat these persons who need our sympathy, love, and disinterested benevolence. This is God’s test of our character. If we have the true religion of the Bible, we shall feel that a debt of love, kindness, and interest is due to Christ in behalf of his brethren; and we can do no less than to show our gratitude for his immeasurable love to us while we were sinners unworthy of his grace, by having a deep interest and unselfish love for those who are our brethren, and who are less fortunate than ourselves.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.7

    Again: on page 512 of the same Volume, we read: Those who have pity for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the afflicted, the widows, the orphans, and the needy, Christ represents as commandment-keepers, who shall have eternal life.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.8

    Now some of you might say that that is a long time ago, and that this has all been done; but where, and when? I find similar admonitions in every volume. In Volume IV on page 627, I find language as follows:-GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.9

    To bear the cross of Christ is to control our sinful passions; to practice Christian courtesy, even when it is inconvenient to do so; to see the wants of the needy and distressed and deny ourselves in order to relieve them; and to open our hearts and our doors to the homeless orphans, although to do this may tax our means and our patience. Such children are younger members of God’s family, and are to receive love and care, and to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is a cross, which, if lifted and cheerfully borne for Christ, will prove a diadem of glory in the kingdom of God.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.10

    Brethren, for Christ’s sake fill up your lives with good works, even though the world does not appreciate your efforts, and give you no credit. This is self-denial. Selfishness is the most galling yoke the members of the church ever place upon their necks; but there is much of it cherished by those who profess to be Christ’s followers. All you have belongs to God. Be guarded lest you selfishly hoard the bounties he has given you for the widow and the fatherless. Christ left his glory, his honor, his high command, and for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. Now the question comes home, What will we individually do for Jesus, who gave his life for a ruined world?GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.11

    (To be concluded in a future number.)


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    “KNOW ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For a woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin, which were by the law, did work in our bodies to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:1-6.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 170.12

    The ground covered by this seventh chapter is really gone over twice. The first part lays the broad facts before us; the latter part goes into the details and particulars of what is given in the beginning.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.1

    In the six verses that have been read, there is given us an illustration and the application. The illustration is easily understood. The simple fact of marriage is taken. A woman having a husband is bound to that husband so long as he liveth. By what is she bound? By the law. It is contrary to the law for her to have two husbands at the same time; but if the first husband be dead, the same law will allow her to marry another man. This is but a plain illustration, and if it is kept in mind throughout the study of the chapter, it will be a great help to us in understanding it.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.2

    There is no need of any argument in this chapter for the perpetuity of the law. That is not the question under consideration. The apostle is not making a special argument to prove that the law is not abolished. His argument starts from that point as one already settled, and shows the practical working of the law in individual cases. He brings it right home to the hearts of men that they are under the law; and if they are under it, how can it be abolished? He urges its claims upon the hearts of men, and by the Spirit of God they feel its working power upon them, and therefore know that it is not abolished.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.3

    Note the class of people to whom Paul is writing. “I speak to them that know the law.” This epistle is addressed to professed followers of Christ. We find that in the second chapter, commencing with the seventeenth verse: “Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.4

    Now to the illustration: While the law will not allow the woman to be united to two husbands at the same time, it will allow her to be united to two in succession. It is the law that allows her, and it is the law that unites her. The same law that unites her to the first husband, also allows her to be united to the second, after that the first is dead. This is easy to be understood, and there is no need to consider it further.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.5

    Now to the application: “Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that ye should bring forth fruit unto God.” We can determine who the two husbands are by beginning with the second one. The “another” to whom we are to be married, is the one who has been raised from the dead, and that is Christ. We are one of the parties in the second marriage, and Christ is the other. He is the second husband.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.6

    The question now arises, who was the first husband that died, in order that we might be united to the second? The sixth chapter has answered that. Compare Romans 7:5 with Romans 6. “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” The law held us in the first union, and now to what were we united? what were we in? We were in union with the FLESH. In the sixth chapter we found that the body of sin is destroyed by Christ. By what means is it that the body of sin becomes destroyed? By the man being crucified with Christ.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.7

    In the first place we are joined to sin, - the sinful flesh. We cannot serve two masters. Here are two figures. We are servants to one master, - united to one husband. We cannot serve two masters at the same time, and we cannot be united to two husbands at the same time. But we can be united to two in succession. The first one of these, to whom we have all been united, is the body of sin; the second is Christ, who is raised from the dead.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.8

    The question arises, what is meant by our being dead to the law by the body of Christ? That brings us to the point where the illustration fails us. The illustration fails us, - why? Because it is utterly impossible to find anything in life that will correctly represent in every particular divine things. There is no illustration that will serve in every particular. That is why we have so many types of Christ. No one person could serve as a complete type of him. We have Adam in one place as a type of Christ; we have Abel; we have Moses; we have Aaron; David; and Melchisedec, and many others who represent different phases of Christ, because there is no one of them who could represent him in every particular.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.9

    So when the apostle would represent the union of all people with the house of Israel, he says: “I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery.” It is a mystery, it is something unnatural. He says that it is a grafting process, but that it is contrary to the natural method. Therefore this illustration of marriage cannot be considered as complete in every particular. And yet, after all, the illustration does not fail, if we choose to consider that the union with the first husband is a criminal connection. It is so in the application. Those who are united to the flesh are guilty of a capital crime. The law holds them in that connection, - i.e., it will not allow them to lightly dissolve the union, and pass it by as though nothing had taken place, - but it demands their life. With this explanation we can understand what follows.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.10

    We find that we are united with sin, and with the body of sin. Then Christ comes to us, and he presents himself as the one altogether lovely. And in reality he is the only one who has any real claim upon us. “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The apostle is writing to those who know the law, and who have left their first love; and what applies to them, will also apply in larger measure to those of the world. Christ comes to the door of our hearts, and knocks, and begs that we will come to him. He has spread out his hands all the day unto a rebellious people, “which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.” How deep, how unfathomable, is the love of God!GCDB March 19, 1891, page 171.11

    In Jeremiah 3:1 we read, “They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.” Paul in writing to the Corinthians says, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.1

    Now we desire that loveliness of character which can be found only in Christ. We find that this union in which we are held - with the flesh - is not a pleasant union, but the husband to whom we are wedded is a task-master, he is a tyrant who grinds us down so that we have no liberty. The flesh is tyrannical, and it holds us down, and makes us do, not as we wish to do, but as it wishes us to do. When we by the aid of Christ come to feel that this union is a galling bondage, then we awake to the real state of our condition, and realize that whereas it may have satisfied us for a time, now we hate it, and desire to rid ourselves of it, and become united to Christ.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.2

    But here is where the difficulty comes in. It is expressed in the words of James 4:4. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Do you think that it is vain that Christ hath said, “What communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?” Now while we still remain in the flesh we desire to take the name of Christ. Of course it is impossible for us to really be joined to Christ and still cling to the body of sin, although to outward appearance we may be able to do it. We cannot actually be united to Christ and the world at the same time. We cannot have Christ for our husband, and at the same time be living with the world.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.3

    But we can take the name of Christ and at the same time retain the sins of the flesh. But the law will not justify a person who does this, - who takes the name of the one man, and at the same time lives with another. The law of God does not justify us in taking the name of Christ, and in living with the flesh. Are we justified then in taking the name of Christ, - in saying that we are united to Christ, and at the same time in living in union with the body of sin? No, certainly not.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.4

    Here again we find how the law is guarded at every step in this matter of justification by faith in Christ. Here every possibility is cut off for a person to say, - I am Christ’s and Christ is mine, and no matter what I do, it is Christ that does it in me. No; that is not so. We cannot charge any sin to Christ; he is not responsible for any sin, for the law does not justify us in committing any sin. So we see that justification by faith is nothing else but bringing a person into perfect conformity to the law. Justification by faith does not make any provision for transgression of the law.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.5

    But we will proceed to consider the case of those who have been unconscious of the claims of the law, while professing it. Paul speaks to those who know the law, and who make their boast in the law, and profess to exalt the law, and at the same time they are so blind to the requirements of the law, that they have thought they could profess Christ, and live in sin. It is not always those who profess to fear that the honor of the law will be lowered, that realize its claims to the fullest extent. Some have even preached the law, and have at the same time thought that they could live in the indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, while thinking that they were united with Christ.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.6

    Now Christ has been set before us, and we see that we cannot be united to Christ and the body of sin at the same time. Then we say that we will give up that first husband, - the body of sin, and become united with Christ. But how can we get free from this body of sin, - this first husband? We cannot cause it to die by simply saying that we wish it were dead. The woman who has a loathing in her heart for her husband, because he is a brutal tyrant, cannot cause herself to be separated from him by simply desiring it. It is a good thing to want to serve Christ, if we have counted the cost, and know that we are sick and tired of the old life, and want to begin a new life, and live with Christ; for when we come to that point, we can easily find out how it can be done.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.7

    Christ comes to us, and he proposes a union with us. That is lawful, because he is the only one who really has any claim upon us, and therefore while we are living in this base connection with the body of sin, he can lawfully come to us, and beg us to be united with him. But here we are united with this body of sin, and the law will not justify us in becoming united to Christ till that body of sin is dead.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.8

    For note again what is implied in the figure of the marriage. When two persons are united in marriage, they become one flesh. This is a mystery. Paul says that it is: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” This is the thought that is held before us in this figure of marriage. For we twain - ourselves and the flesh - are so completely joined together that we are no longer twain, but one flesh, and our life is just one.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 172.9

    Look back over your life and see if there is any time in it where you can see that it has been separated from sin. It has been a life of sin. Sin has ever been a part of your life. We have only one life, and that has been sin. Therefore, so closely have we been united with sin, that there has been only one life between us, - we twain have been one flesh. Then the only way by which we can get rid of this body of sin, - which is one with us, is to die too. That is how it is that the apostle says, - that we are become dead to the law by the body of Christ. For that union with the flesh was really unlawful, and the law had a claim against us for that union. It will put us to death for that union. We are dead in Christ, and the body of sin dies also.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.1

    In chapter six we read, “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.” Christ in his own flesh bare our sins in his body on the tree. He takes our sins that they may be crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed. We consent to die. We acknowledge that our life is forfeited to the law, and that the law has a just claim upon us. Then we voluntarily give up our lives so that this hated body of sin may die. We loath the union with it so much that we are willing to die in order that it may die too.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.2

    “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Therefore as we die with Christ, we are raised also with Christ. But Christ is not the minister of sin, so while he will crucify the body of sin, he will not raise it again, and the body of sin is destroyed. Thus we rise, the union between us and Christ complete, that henceforth we should bring forth fruit unto God.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.3

    “Now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held.” What is dead? The body of sin! It was because we were united to that body of sin that the law had somewhat against us. Notice; God does not have any hatred against us. God does not have any desire to punish us, but he cannot endure sin. His law must condemn sin, and since we have identified ourselves with sin, so that we were one with it, in condemning sin, he necessarily condemned us; and so long as we lived a life of sin, that condemnation necessarily rested upon us. But as we have already shown, we have a choice as to when we will die, and we have chosen to voluntarily give up our lives to him, while we can have his life instead.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.4

    When our lives have been given up to the law, the claim that the law had against us is satisfied, because now, the body of sin being dead, we are delivered from the law, just as the woman whose husband is dead, is loosed from the law of her husband, so that she can be united to another. But the same law that held her to that first husband, unites her to the second. So it is in this case. The same law that bound us to the body of sin, now witnesses to our union with Christ. Romans 3:21. That perfect law witnesses to the union with Christ, and justifies it. And so long as we remain in Christ, it justifies us in that union, showing that union with Christ is conformity to the law.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.5

    And the power of Christ is able to hold us in that union. “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” Romans 6:8. We became united to Christ in the act of death. By that death, the bond that united us with our first husband, - the body of sin, was broken, - the body of sin was destroyed, and now we rise with Christ.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.6

    We believe that we shall live with him? Why do people get married? That they may live together. Then, because we have been united by death with Christ, we believe that now since we are risen with him, we shall live with him. Notice further, - when two are united, they two are no longer twain, but one flesh. Christ “makes in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Ephesians 2:15. We are his, Christ and we are one, and therefore together we make one new man. Now who is the one? Christ is the one.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.7

    Well might Paul say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. It is Christ now, not we. Thus we are the representatives of Christ on earth. This is why Christ in his prayer in the garden, prayed, that “they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that thou has sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.8

    How may the world know this? From the Bible? - No; for the world does not read the Bible; and therefore God hath put us in the world as the light of the world. The Bible is a light and a lamp, but not to those who do not take it. We take the word of Christ, we feed upon it in spirit, and bring Christ into our hearts, and thus effect the union; and then the light shines forth to the world, and the world knows that Christ has been sent as a divine Saviour.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.9

    We pass over a few verses. The apostle shows that while the motions of sins were by the law, it is not because the law is sinful, but because the law is holy. By the law is the knowledge of sin. Paul was once alive in carnal security, serving God, as he thought; but when the commandment came, then sin abounded, and he died; and this law which was ordained for life, because it justifies the obedient, he found had nothing but death for him, because he had not really been obeying it. That is why he says, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just, and good.”GCDB March 19, 1891, page 173.10

    But note; before this time Paul had been one who honored the law, he had made his boast in the law, and therefore he writes to those who know the law, - to those who have been striving with all their might to keep the law; and yet, they are the ones who have to be delivered from the law. Why? Because while making their boast in the law, through breaking it, they dishonored God.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.1

    Now we shall still serve, but how? - not the way we did before, in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the spirit. That means that our very service to the law is something that we have got to be delivered from. Why? - Because it has been simply a forced service; it has been simply in the oldness of the letter; there has not been spirit and life in it. It has not been of Christ, therefore it has been sin. We boasted in the law, and we professed to keep the law, yet that very service was sin, and we must be delivered from that kind of service to the law, to serve in the right way. So now we serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.2

    In the latter part of the chapter, the apostle shows what that oldness of the letter is from which we must be delivered. “I am carnal, sold under sin.” We do great violence to the apostle Paul, that holy man, when we say that in this he is relating his own Christian experience. He is not writing his own experience now that he is united with Christ. He is writing the experience of those who serve, but in the oldness of the letter, and while professedly serving God, are carnal, and sold under sin.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.3

    A person sold under bondage is a slave. What is the evidence of this slavery? “For what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.... For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Have we ever had any such experience as that in our so-called Christian experience? Yes; we have fought, but with all our fighting, did we keep the law? No, we have made a failure, and it is written upon every page of our lives. It is a constant service, but at the same time it is a constant failure.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.4

    I fail, I make a new resolution, - I break it, and then I get discouraged, then make another resolution, and break that again. We cannot make ourselves do the thing we want to do by making a resolution. We do not want to sin, but we do sin all the time. We make up our minds we will not fall under that temptation again, and we don’t - till the next time it comes up, and then we fall as before.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.5

    When in this condition, can we say that we have hope, and that we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”? We do not hear such testimonies, - it is solely of what we want to do, and what we have failed to do, but intend to do in the future. If a person has the law before him, and acknowledges that it is good, and yet does not keep its precepts, is his sin any less in the sight of God than the sin of the man who cares nothing for the law? No.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.6

    What is the difference between the would-be Christian, who knows the law, but does not keep it, and the worldling who does not keep the law, and does not acknowledge that it is good? Simply this: We are unwilling slaves, and they are willing slaves. We are all the time distracted and sorrowful, and getting nothing out of life at all, while the worldling does not worry himself in the least.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.7

    If one is going to sin, is it not better to be the worldling, who does not know that there is such a thing as liberty, than to be the man who knows that there is liberty, but cannot get it? If it has got to be slavery, if we must live in the sins of the world, then it is better to be in the world, partaking of its pleasures, than to be in a miserable bondage, and have no hope of a life to come.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.8

    But thanks be unto God, we can have liberty. When life becomes unbearable because of the bondage of sin, then it is that we may hope, for that leads to the question, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Mark; there is deliverance. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ came that we might have life. In him is life. He is full of life, and when we are so sick of this body of death, that we are willing to die to get rid of it, then we can yield ourselves to Christ, and die in him; and with us dies the body of death. Then we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life, but Christ who is not the minister of sin will not raise up the body of sin; so it is destroyed, and we are free.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.9

    Let all your sinful passions go, and believe that Christ will give you something so much better than they are, that you will have an unspeakable joy. Not only will there be joy now, but there will be joy through all eternity, a song of joy for the precious gift that he has given.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.10

    Christ has condemned sin in the flesh, and by faith we take him and live with him. That is a blessed life. Take hold of Christ by faith and live with him.GCDB March 19, 1891, page 174.11

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