Patriarchs and Prophets
The enemy had laid a snare for the Fresno church. Brethren had left the churches where they belonged and where their help was greatly needed to strengthen and encourage the weak churches, and had moved into Fresno, to add their presence and increase the numbers of the church at that place. If they cannot hear the voice of God saying, "What doest thou here Elijah?", God will speak more plainly. It is not God's plan to have men of the same faith colonise and dwell together. We are living in the last days, and unless God moves the men, this moving mania will prove a snare perhaps to the loss of souls of those who move, as well as to the loss of many souls left discouraged in the small churches. The land boom struck Fresno, and these good brethren in the faith were swept into the land speculation and some invested in mining stock. Speculation crowded out thoughts of eternal things. Unwary souls were beguiled and became infatuated. On the street, around the table, in the social visit, the theme of conversation was the purchasing of lots and mining stock. This, also, was the conversation of ministers whose business it was to work the mines of truth, to find and rescue the precious gems and jewels hidden beneath the rubbish of error. Just such a chapter is found in the history of the old world, when every imagination of man's heart was only evil and that continually. So it was in the city of Sodom. When men who have had great light and great truth, who are to be God's witnesses to a people whose interests are in the world, become full of a feverish anxiety to buy and sell and get gain, Satan looks on with triumph. These men permit the alluring pictures of the world to captivate their senses; the alluring temptation with which Satan tempted Christ, overcomes them and the example of Christ in resisting temptation fades from the memory. They permit themselves to be drawn into the current which is sweeping man downward, and when Satan sees his plans work so well, he invents scheme after scheme, that the Lord's money may be diverted into channels where the cause of God will get none of it. Satan tells the speculator that if he will engage in this land scheme, he can make means to help the cause of God, and he presents illusions that fascinates the senses and thousands of dollars are bound away from the cause of God, and the example of Christ is not followed. Unwary souls are beguiled by representations that will never be realised. All who engage in enterprises of this order, fail to give a worthy, Christ-like example to the world as Seventh-day Adventists. Satan designed to cut off the influence of the men who by precept and example, should have borne a clear, unselfish, uncorrupted testimony against all such schemes of the enemy. Against such Satanic schemes, there is no safeguard but one--the truth as it is in Jesus, planted in the heart by his spirit, and nurtured by his grace. Our piety, Bible integrity, our religion, will degenerate into commonness and earthiness before the world, before the God whom we profess to love and serve, if we do not keep a living connection with Christ. We claim to be the repositories of sacred truth, to be looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 1888 59

Dear Brother Y: In the last view given I was shown that you do not understand yourself. You have a work to do for yourself which no one can do for you. Your experience in the truth is short, and you have not been thoroughly converted. You place a higher estimate upon yourself than you will bear. I was pointed back to your past life. Your mind has not been elevated, but has dwelt upon subjects not calculated to lead to purity of action. You have had habits which were corrupt, and which have tainted your morals. You have been too familiar with the other sex, and have not possessed modesty of deportment. You would be well suited were there greater familiarity encouraged between men and women, much after Dr. A's theory. Your influence at ----- was not good. You were not a proper person for that place; your light and trifling conversation disqualified you to exert a good influence. The character of your music was not such as to encourage elevated thoughts or feelings, but rather to degenerate. 2T 321

Ministers of Christ should feel it a duty binding upon them, if they receive the hospitalities of their brethren or friends, to leave a blessing with the family by seeking to encourage and strengthen its members. They should not neglect the duties of a pastor, as they visit from house to house. They should become familiar with every member of the family, that they may understand the spiritual condition of all, and vary their manner of labour to meet the case of each. When a minister bearing the solemn message of warning to the world receives the hospitable courtesies of friends and brethren, and neglects the duties of a shepherd of the flock and is careless in his example and deportment, engaging with the young in trifling conversation, in jesting and joking, and in relating humorous anecdotes to create laughter, he is unworthy of being a gospel minister and needs to be converted before he should be entrusted with the care of the sheep and lambs. Ministers who are neglectful of the duties devolving on a faithful pastor give evidence that they are not sanctified by the truths they present to others and should not be sustained as labourers in the vineyard of the Lord till they have a high sense of the sacredness of the work of a minister of Christ. 3T 232

The influence of a thoughtless word may affect a soul's eternal destiny. Every person is exerting an influence upon the lives of others. We must either be as a light to brighten and cheer their path, or as a desolating tempest to destroy. We are either leading our associates upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal ruin. No man will perish alone in his iniquity. However contracted may be one's sphere of influence, it is exerted either for good or for evil. 4T 654

Do not worry. By looking at appearances and complaining when difficulty and pressure come, you reveal a sickly, enfeebled faith. By your words and your works show that your faith is invincible. The Lord is rich in resources. He owns the world. Look to Him who has light, and power, and efficiency. He will bless everyone who is seeking to communicate light and love. 7T 212

Administer the rules of the home in wisdom and love, not with a rod of iron. Children will respond with willing obedience to the rule of love. Commend your children whenever you can. Make their lives as happy as possible. . . . Keep the soil of the heart mellow by the manifestation of love and affection, thus preparing it for the seed of truth. Remember that the Lord gives the earth not only clouds and rain, but the beautiful, smiling sunshine, causing the seed to germinate and the blossom to appear. Remember that children need not only reproof and correction, but encouragement and commendation, the pleasant sunshine of kind words. AH 18

As we associate together, we may be a blessing to one another. If we are Christ's, our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. We shall love to talk of Him; and as we speak to one another of His love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences. Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory." DA 83

We are debtors to Christ for every ability, every grace, every good thought, and every proper action. Of ourselves we have nothing of which to boast. In lowliness and humility, let us bow at the foot of cross; and let all our words and acts be such as shall win others to Christ, and not drive them farther from Him. FE 52

The subject of purity and propriety of deportment is one to which we must give heed. We must guard against the sins of this degenerate age. Let not Christ's ambassadors descend to trifling conversation, to familiarity with women, married or single. Let them keep their proper place with becoming dignity; yet at the same time they may be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. They must stand aloof from everything that savours of commonness and familiarity. This is forbidden ground, upon which it is unsafe to set the feet. Every word, every act, should tend to elevate, to refine, to ennoble. There is sin in thoughtlessness about such matters. GW15 125

It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, "I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak. I have no excuse to plead for being dwarfed in my religious life. But I am seeking to obtain completeness of character in Christ. I have sinned, and yet I love Jesus. I have fallen many times, and yet He has reached out His hand to save me. I have told Him all about my mistakes. I have confessed with shame and sorrow that I have dishonoured Him. I have looked to the cross, and have said, All this He suffered for me. The Holy Spirit has shown me my ingratitude, my sin in putting Christ to open shame. He who knows no sin has forgiven my sin. He calls me to a higher, nobler life, and I press on to the things that are before.". . . HP 122

Never should we lose control over ourselves. Let us keep before us the perfect Pattern. It is a sin to speak impatiently and fretfully or to feel angry--even though we do not speak. We are to walk worthy, giving a right representation of Christ. The speaking of an angry word is like flint striking flint; it at once kindles wrathful feelings. Never be like a chestnut bur. . . HP 246

The more you talk faith, the more faith you will have. The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have. Why mourn over that which you cannot avoid?. . . HP 247

When we are brought into adverse circumstances, when our natural feelings are stirred, and we want to give vent to them, then our faith is tried; then we are to manifest the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Not by one word are we to give expression to the feelings of the natural heart. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2)-the whole man. What we want is to be under the control of Jesus. We do not want our own way. HP 270

Now we see need of workers in the opening fields before us, but where are the men who can be trusted, men who have been year by year growing into a better knowledge of God and his ways, and the movings of his providence? I want to sound in the ears of these sleepy, half paralysed souls the words spoken to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." There is need to ask God with all the heart, to elevate the standard. The commonness, the cheapness of conversation reveal the measure of spirituality of the members of the church. Now, those who have lived years in this same experience know not God nor Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; and should such go forth as representatives of Jesus Christ? These men will never give the right mould to other minds. They have not grown up to the full stature of men and women in Jesus Christ. They simply live the name of Christian, but are not fitted for the work of God, and never will be until they are born again, and learn their A.B.C.'s in the religion of Jesus Christ. There is hope in one direction. Take the young men and women and place them where they will come as little as possible in contact with our churches, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian. The worshippers of God are in need of transforming grace to subordinate the world to religion. In the place of making the temporal interest first, exhausting soul, body, and spirit to secure temporal advantages, Jesus points us to the heavenly treasure, and tells us not to lay up our treasure in earth which will perish, but to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven which will not perish, for where our treasure is there will our heart be also. Jesus would have all that profess to believe in him deal in the currency of heaven, handling those things upon which God has stamped his image and superscription. These he presents before us of infinite value. We see the need of a deep and thorough work in our churches; but the Lord alone can by his Holy Spirit make the hearts that are as steel, soft and sympathetic, and true to the service of Christ. We are far behind because the churches have folded their hands in a peace and safety attitude, and are at ease in Zion, doing almost nothing when the living zeal should be in their hearts as never before. Satan is stirring the powers from beneath to make one last desperate effort to convert the world to his own principles. He has his plans laid with Satanic subtlety, and destruction cometh suddenly while these that have the light, the warnings that such a crisis is before us are almost unmoved. . . PC 344

The guardians of the institution must ever maintain a high standard, and carefully watch over the youth entrusted to them by parents as learners or helpers in the various departments. When young men and women work together, a sympathy is created among them which frequently grows into sentimentalism. If the guardians are indifferent to this, lasting injury may be done to these souls, and the high moral tone of the institution will be compromised. If any, patients or helpers, continue their familiarity by deception after having had judicious instruction, they should not be retained in the institution, for their influence will affect those who are innocent and unsuspecting. Young girls will lose their maidenly modesty, and be led to act deceptively because their affections have become entangled. . . . The young should be taught to be frank, yet modest, in their associations. They should be taught to respect just rules and authority. If they refuse to do this, let them be dismissed, no matter what position they occupy, for they will demoralise others. The forwardness of young girls in placing themselves in the company of young men, lingering around where they are at work, entering into conversation with them, talking common, idle talk, is belittling to womanhood. It lowers them, even in the estimation of those who themselves indulge in such things. . . . Let not those who profess the religion of Christ descend to trifling conversation, to unbecoming familiarity with women of any class, whether married or single. Let them keep their proper places with all dignity. At the same time they should be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. Young ladies should be reserved and modest. They should give no occasion for their good to be evil spoken of. . . . Those who give evidence that their thoughts run in a low channel, whose conversation tends to corrupt rather than to elevate, should be removed at once from any connection with the institution, for they will surely demoralise others. PH066 26

A physician should attend strictly to his professional work. He should not allow anything to come in to divert his mind from his business, or to take his attention from those who are looking to him for relief from suffering. An assuring and hopeful word spoken in season to the sufferer will often relieve his mind and win for the physician a place in his confidence. Kindness and courtesy should be manifested; but the common, cheap talk which is so customary even among some who claim to be Christians, should not be heard in our institutions. The only way for us to become truly courteous, without affectation, without undue familiarity, is to drink in the spirit of Christ, to heed the injunction, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." If we act upon the principles laid down in the word of God, we shall have no inclination to indulge in undue familiarity. PH066 38 (CH 341)

There is a work to be done by living human agencies, which they are slow to comprehend. They need to study the Scriptures, to search the Bible, with humble, teachable minds, that they may know their place in the work, and not move haphazard, but fall into line, keeping step with Jesus. "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Every talent with which God has endowed the human agent is now to be awakened, to be employed, not solely in worldly transactions, to buy and sell and get gain, not to use your God-given powers selfishly, greedily to make a place for yourself in the earth; no, you want now to consecrate every entrusted talent of means and ability, having yourself under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Not a word is to be spoken unadvisedly, to stir up the elements of opposition; not an action entered into to create any deeper enmity than exists in the hearts of the enemies of truth; and, moving with well-balanced minds, holding aloft the banner of truth, grace from God will be given, wisdom will be imparted, and angels of God will be commissioned to minister unto all who walk in humility of mind, trustingly accepting the truth as it is revealed, standing by their colours, but not creating persecution by unwise actions, but moving in the footsteps of Jesus. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." PH084 20

Our probation is short at best; we have no time to spend in erratic movements. The familiarity of married men with married women and with young girls, is disgusting in the sight of God and holy angels. The forwardness of young girls in placing themselves in the company of young men, hanging around where they are at work, entering into conversation with them, talking common, idle talk, is belittling to womanhood. It lowers them, even in the estimation of those who indulge in such things. There is a positive necessity for reform. All frivolity, all undue attention of men to women, or women to men, must be condemned and discontinued. These things have produced great evil in the world. PH088 10

My heart was drawn out in sympathy for these precious ones who enjoy so few religious privileges; for temporal affairs engross their minds until their thoughts and conversation run almost wholly in a worldly channel, and when they assemble in our general meetings, they do not understand themselves; they do not know their great need. Some are self-confident, self-sufficient, exalted in their opinion of themselves, because they do not have clear views of Jesus. If they lived near to him, they would see his purity, his matchless benevolence, his self-sacrifice and infinite love, which would lead them to see their deficiencies; and when viewing the cross of Calvary, and the sufferings that Christ endured that they might be rescued from ruin, they could not have one exalted feeling in regard to self. Satan is constantly at work to separate man from Christ, and his power is especially exercised upon those who profess to be children of the light. If he succeeds in any way, through pride, covetousness, love of the world, or self-esteem, in hiding from their view the perfect Pattern, then his purpose is accomplished. It is unsafe for any one of us to allow temporal and worldly things to absorb the mind and affections. If the mind is exercised almost wholly in this direction, and the conversation is of this character, the mind becomes earthly, sensual, and Christ and his grace are cut off from the view. RH DEC.18,1883

Every uttered word exerts an influence, every action involves a train of responsibility. No one can live to himself in this world, even if he would. Each one forms a part of the great web of humanity, and through our individual threads of influence we are linked to the universe. Christ used his influence to draw men to God, and he left us an example of the way in which we should speak and act. A person who is moulded by the Spirit of God will know how to speak a "word in season to him that is weary," and will realise the highest human blessedness,-- the joy of imparting to others the precious treasures of the wisdom and grace of Christ. But those who permit themselves to be controlled by the enemy of all good will speak words which should never be uttered. RH FEB.16,1897

The home may be plain, but it can always be a place where cheerful words are spoken and kindly deeds are done, where courtesy and love are abiding guests. RH JUL. 9,1901

It is a most serious matter to go from house to house, and, under pretence of doing missionary work, scatter the seed of mistrust and suspicion. Such seed speedily germinates, and there is created a distrust of God's servants, who have his message to bear to the people. When God speaks through his servants, the seed sown has developed into a root of bitterness. The word falls upon ears that will not hear, and hearts that will not respond. No earthly or heavenly power can find access to the soul. Who is accountable for these souls? Who shall eradicate that poisonous root of bitterness that has prevented them from receiving the word of the Lord? A sister or brother in the church planted the evil seed, but who will restore the soul thus imperilled? The tongue that should have been used to the glory of God in speaking words of faith and hope and confidence in God's workmen, has turned a soul away from Jesus Christ. Those who themselves despised the words of Christ, and refused to hear his voice and to be converted, have leavened other minds with the leaven of evil-surmising and evil-speaking. RH NOV.27,1900

This is the day of the Lord's preparation. We have no time now to talk unbelief or to gossip, no time now to do the devil's work. Let everyone beware of unsettling the faith of others by sowing seeds of envy, jealousy, disunion; for God hears the words, and he judges, not by assertions which are yea and nay, but by the fruit of one's course of action. "By their fruits ye shall know them." The seed sown will determine the character of the harvest. RH NOV.27,1900

So long as the people of God are in this world, they will have to meet conflict and trouble and deception, because men choose the attributes of Satan instead of attributes of God. There is a conscience that is not good. There are those whose words are yea and nay in regard to the same thing. How are we to deal with those who make these false statements? We should not try to deal with them. The Lord God of Israel will deal with minds according to his knowledge; for he reads the heart. The less we have to do with untruthful elements, the better it will be for the church. RH NOV.27,1900

Our probation is short, at best. We have no time to spend in indulging corrupt impulses. The familiarity of married men with married women and young girls is disgusting in the sight of God and holy angels. The forwardness of young girls, in placing themselves in the company of young men, hanging around where they are at work, entering into conversation with them, talking common, idle talk, is belittling to womanhood. It lowers them, even in the estimation of those who themselves do such things. SPTB16 6

Many have been cultivating habits which lead directly to earthly, sensual actions; and unless the power of God breaks the snare, souls will be lost in consequence. God has claims upon you that you do not realise; for you have not brought Christ into your life, and great decision of character will now be necessary on your part to change this order of things. No weak efforts will accomplish this work. You can not do it yourselves; you must have the grace of Christ or you can never overcome. All your plans will prove a failure unless you are actuated by higher motives, and upheld by greater strength than you can have of yourselves. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." There will be no taste for trifling conversation on the part of those who are looking to Jesus for strength, depending upon His righteousness for salvation. By faith they accept Jesus as their personal Saviour, and become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. While men and women in an institution for health should be kind and courteous, while they are required to be affable and congenial to all, they should shun even the appearance of undue familiarity. And not only should they themselves observe the strictest propriety of conduct, but by precept and example they should educate others to be modest and shun looseness, jesting, flattery, and nonsensical speeches. Everything savouring of unbecoming familiarity should be discarded by physicians, superintendent, and helpers. There should be no giving of special favours or special attentions to a few, no preferring of one above another. This has been done and is displeasing to God. There are worthy persons who are afflicted and suffering but do not complain, who are in need of special attention. These men and women are often passed by with indifference and with a hardness of heart that is more like Satan's character than like Christ's, while, young forward misses, who in no way need or deserve favours, receive special attention. All this neglect is written in the books of heaven. All these things are developing character. . . . SPTB16 9

I wish I could impress upon every worker the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God. When young, or even married men and women open their family secrets to you, beware. When they express a desire for sympathy, know that it is time to exercise great caution. Those who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and who are walking with God, will have no unholy repining for sympathy. They have a companionship that satisfies every desire of the mind and heart. Married men who accept the attention, the praise, and petting of women, should be assured that the love and sympathy of this class is not worth the obtaining. It is valueless. This is a subject to which we must give heed. We must guard against the sins of this degenerate age. We must stand aloof from everything that savours of commonness and undue familiarity. God condemns it. It is forbidden ground, upon which it is unsafe to set the feet. Every word and action should tend to elevate, refine, and ennoble the character. There is sin in thoughtlessness about such matters. ST OCT.15,1885

As we look at the promises of God we find comfort and hope and joy, for they speak to us the words of the Infinite One. Properly to appreciate these precious promises we should study them carefully, examining them in detail. How much joy we might bring into life, how much goodness into the character, if we would but make these promises our own! As we journey in the upward way, let us talk of the blessings strewn along the path. As we think of the mansions Christ is preparing for us, we forget the petty annoyances which we meet day by day. We seem to breathe the atmosphere of the heavenly country to which we are journeying, and we are soothed and comforted. YI JAN.23,1902 (ML 338)

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