ST - 1885 - Address to the workers

                        A D D R E S S    T O    T H E    W O R K E R S                 

                                             Sign  of  the  Times   - -   October 15, 1885     

                                                                                                                                                     Related pages:  RH Nov. 10, 1885

Written on Board S.S. “Cephalonia”
Near Queenstown, Ireland,  August 17, 1885.

  I feel urged to address those who are engaged in giving the last message of warning to the world. Whether those for whom they labor see and accept the truth, depends very much upon the individual workers. The command from God is, “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord;” and Paul charges Timothy, “Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine.” The work must commence with the worker; he must be united to Christ as the branch is united to the vine. “I am the true vine,” said Christ; “ye are the branches.” Here is represented the closest possible connection. Insert [ingraft] the leafless rod upon the flourishing vine stock, and it soon becomes a living branch, drawing sap and nourishment from the vine. Fiber by fiber, vein by vein, the sapling clings, until it buds and blossoms and bears fruit. The sapless twig represents the sinner. When united to Christ, soul is joined to soul, the feeble and finite to the holy and infinite, and man becomes one with Christ.  Note: [RH Nov. 10, 1885 par. 1 ends here]  “Without me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification. Are we who claim to be workers with Christ united with him? Do we abide in Christ, and are we one with him? The message that we bear is worldwide. It must come before all nations, tongues, and people. The Lord will not require any one of us to go forth with this message unless he shall give us power and grace to present it to the people in a manner corresponding to its importance.  The great question with us today is, Are we carrying this solemn message of truth in a manner that is equal to its importance? The Lord will work with the workers if they will make Christ their only dependence. He never designed that his missionaries should work without his grace, and destitute of his power. The humble, contrite heart will be the abode of the Spirit of Christ. “If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” John 14: 23   { ST October 15, 1885, par. 1 }


   God has chosen us out of the world that we might be a peculiar and holy people. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” God’s workers must be men of prayer, diligent students of the Scriptures, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, that they may be a light and strength unto others. Our God is a jealous God, and he requires that we worship him in spirit and in truth, and in the beauty of holiness. The psalmist says: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” We must, as workers, take heed to our ways. If the psalmist could not be heard if he regarded iniquity in his heart, how can the prayers of ministers be heard if iniquity is regarded among them? There are dangers to which we are continually exposed. It is Satan’s studied plan to make the workers weak in prayer, weak in power, weak in influence before the world, because of the defects in their characters, defects which in no way harmonize with the truth. We must, as workers, be united in frowning down and condemning anything that bears the least approach to evil in our association with one another. Our faith is holy, and our work is to vindicate the honor of God’s law. Our work is not of a character to bring any one down to a low level in thought or in deportment. There are many who claim to believe and to teach the truth, who have error and fanciful ideas of their own mingled with the truth. There is an exalted platform upon which we must stand. We must believe and teach the truth as it is in Jesus. { ST October 15, 1885, par. 2 }


  Holiness of heart will never lead to impure actions. When one who claims to be teaching the truth is inclined to be much in the company of young women or even of married women; when he familiarly lays his hand upon their shoulders, or is often found conversing with them in a familiar manner, be afraid of him. The pure principles of truth are not in wrought in the soul. Such are not workers with Jesus; they are not in Christ, and Christ is not abiding in them. They need a thorough conversion before God can accept their labors. The truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never leads him to the least approach to undue familiarity. On the contrary, it sanctifies the receiver, refines the taste, elevates and ennobles him, and brings him in close connection with Jesus. It does not lead him to disregard the Apostle Paul’s injunction, to abstain from even the appearance of evil, lest his good should be evil spoken of. We have a great work to do to elevate man and to win him to Christ, to lead him to choose and to seek earnestly to be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Every thought, every word, and every action of the workers should be of that elevated character that is in harmony with the sacred truth they advocate. We are living in an age where iniquity abounds, and an unguarded word or an improper action may greatly injure the usefulness of the one showed this weakness. Keep up the barriers of reserve. Let not one instance occur in your relation to others that the enemy may make capital of. If you begin to place your affections upon one another, giving special attention to favorites, using flattering words, God will withdraw his Spirit. If married men leave their wives to care for their children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work as the husband and father. Although one is in the missionary field, the other is a home missionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. Her work is a solemn and important one. It is to mould the minds and fashion the characters of her children, and train them for usefulness here, and fit them for the future, immortal life. The husband in the open missionary field may receive the honors of men, while the home toiler may receive no credit for her labor. But if she works for the best interest of her family, to fashion their characters after the divine model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world. God does not see things as man’s finite vision views them. { ST October 15, 1885, par. 3 }


  I am pained when I see men praised, flattered, and petted. God has revealed the fact that some who receive these attentions are unworthy to take his name into their lips. Yet they are exalted to Heaven in the estimation of finite man, who reads only from outward appearance. My sisters, never fawn over, pet, and flatter poor, failing, erring men, either young or old, married or unmarried. You know not their weaknesses, and you know not but these very attentions and this profuse praise may prove their ruin. I am alarmed at the short-sightedness, the want of wisdom, that many manifest in respect to this familiarity. Men who are doing God’s work and who have Christ abiding in their hearts, will not lower the standard of morality, but will ever seek to elevate it. They will not find pleasure in the flattery of women, or in being petted by them. Let young men and married men say, “Hands off! I will not give the least occasion to have my good evil spoken of. My good name is capital, of far more value to me than gold or silver. Let me preserve it untarnished. If men assail that name, it shall not be because I have given them any occasion to do so, but for the same reason that they spoke falsely of Christ,—because they hated the purity and holiness of his character, for it was a constant rebuke to them.” { ST October 15, 1885, par. 4 }


  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 savors 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. The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to diligence and thoroughness in his ministry, and urged him to meditate upon those things that are pure and excellent, that his profiting might appear unto all. The same counsel is greatly needed by young men of the present age. Thoughtful consideration is essential. If men would only think more and act less impulsively, they would meet with much greater success in their labors. We are handling subjects of infinite importance, and we cannot afford to weave into our work our own defects of character. We want to represent the character of Christ. { ST October 15, 1885, par. 5 }


  Women are too often tempters. Through one pretense or another they engage the attention of the married or unmarried men, and lead them on till they transgress the law of God. Their usefulness is ruined and their souls jeopardized. The history of Joseph is left on record for the benefit of all who, like him, are tempted. He was firm as a rock to principle, and answered the tempter, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Moral power like his is what is now needed. If women would elevate their lives and become workers with Christ, there would be less danger through their influence. But with their present feelings of unconcern in regard to home responsibilities, and in regard to the claims that God has upon them, their influence is often strong in the wrong direction. Their powers are dwarfed, and their work bears not the stamp of the divine. They are not home missionaries, neither are they missionaries away from home, and frequently home, precious home, is a desolation. Is there not enough transpiring about us to show us the dangers that beset our path? Everywhere are seen wrecks of humanity, broken-down family altars, broken-up families. There is a strange abandonment of principle. The standard of morality is lowered, and the earth is fast becoming as Sodom. The Sodomitish practices which brought the judgment of God upon the old world and caused it to be destroyed by water, and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing.  { ST October 15, 1885, par. 6 }


  We are nearing the end. God has borne long with the perversity of mankind, but their punishment is no less certain. Let those who profess to be the light of the world depart from all iniquity. We see the very same spirit manifested against the truth as was seen in Christ’s days. For want of Bible arguments those who are making void the law of God will manufacture falsehoods to stain and blacken the workers. They did this to the world’s Redeemer; they will do it to his followers. Reports that have not the least foundation will be asserted as truth. May the Lord attract souls to himself, and impart to them individually a sense of their sacred responsibilities to form such characters that Christ will not be ashamed to call them brethren. Elevate the standard, and then the heavenly benediction will be pronounced upon you in that day when every man will receive according to the deeds done in the body. Workers for God must live as in his sight, and be constantly developing in character, true virtue, and godliness. Their minds and hearts must be so thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ, and solemnized by the sacred message they have to bear, that every thought, every action, and every motive will be above the earthly and sensual. Their happiness will not be in forbidden, selfish gratification, but in Jesus and his love.   { ST October 15, 1885, par. 7 }   


   The standard of morality is not exalted high enough among God’s people. In view of the dangers of this time, shall not we, as commandment-keeping people, put away from among us all sin, all iniquity, and all perverseness? Shall not the women professing the truth keep strict guard over themselves, lest the least encouragement be given to unwarrantable familiarity? They might close many a door to temptation if they would observe at all times strict reserve, and propriety of deportment. Let men find an example in the life of Joseph, and stand firm to principle, however strongly tempted. We want to be strong men and women for the right. There are those around us who are weak in moral power. They need to be in the company of those who are firm, and whose hearts are closely knit with the heart of Christ. Every one’s principles will be put to the test, but there are those who go into temptation like a fool to the correction of stocks. They invite the devil to tempt them. They unnerve themselves, are weakened in moral power, and shame and confusion are the result. [Note: RH Nov. 10, 1885 par 22 ends here]  Never should the mark of distinction between the followers of Jesus and the followers of Satan be obliterated. There is a distinct line drawn by God himself between the world and the church, between commandment-keepers and commandment-breakers. These do not blend together. They are as far separated, as much different, as midday and midnight; different in their tastes, their aims, their pursuits, their characters. If we cultivate the love and fear of God, we will loathe the least approach to impurity.  { ST October 15, 1885, par. 8 }


  My prayer is, O Lord, anoint the eyes of thy people, that they may discern between sin and holiness, between pollution and righteousness, and come off victorious at last.  { ST October 15, 1885, par. 9 }    


     Note:   Article published in RH Nov. 10, 1885  is very similar but has 24 paragraphs of content    


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