Lesson 12                                  *December 14–20


Called to One Hope


Memory Text: Titus 1:2 NIV 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,


Sabbath Afternoon

Ephesians 4:4 NIV 4 There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--

1 Corinthians 4:9 NIV 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.

1 Corinthians 4:9 KJV 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.



A Worthy Life.

Ephesians 4:1-2 KJV 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Romans 3:10-18 KJV 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Ephesians 2:12 KJV 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

1 John 2:17 KJV 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Titus 3:5 KJV 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Jude 1:21 KJV 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Isaiah 53:6 KJV 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 3:21-26 KJV 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Ephesians 4:1-2 KJV 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;



Bearing With One Another In Love.

Matthew 10:8 KJV 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 319

 You are extremely sensitive. You feel deeply and have not possessed the power to throw off care, perplexity, and discouragement of mind. I saw that God would be to you a very present help if you would only trust yourself with Him; but you worry yourself out of the arms of your dear, loving Saviour. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" What a precious promise is this! We may claim much of our kind heavenly Father. Great blessings are in reserve for us. We may believe in God, we may trust Him, and by so doing glorify His name. Even if we are overcome of the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." {2T 319.1}

     I want to say, my sister, you need not cast away your confidence. Poor, trembling soul, rest in the promises of God. In so doing, the enemy's fetters will be broken, his suggestions will be powerless. Heed not the whisperings of the enemy. Go free, oppressed soul. Be of good courage. Say to your poor, desponding heart: "Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." I know that God loves you. Put your trust in Him. Think not of those things which bring sadness and distress; turn from every disagreeable thought and think of precious Jesus. Dwell upon His power to save, His undying, matchless love for you, even you. I know that the Lord loves you. If you cannot rely upon your own faith, rely upon the faith of others. We believe and hope for you. God accepts our faith in your behalf. {2T 319.2}

     You have tried to do right, and God is pitiful and compassionate to you. Be cheerful, and bid adieu to gloom and doubts. In indulging these doubts, you dishonor God. There is peace in believing, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Believing (p. 320) brings peace, and trusting in God brings joy. Believe, believe! my soul says, believe. Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to His trust. He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him who hath loved you. May the Lord bless you and strengthen your trembling faith, is our prayer. We commit these few lines to you, trusting they may do you good. - {2T 319.3}



Called To One Hope.

Ephesians 4:4 KJV 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Ephesians 4:1 NIV 1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Ephesians 4:1 KJV 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Psalms 18:3 KJV 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Psalms 29:11 KJV 11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Psalms 48:14 KJV 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Titus 2:13 KJV 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 KJV 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.



Oneness Of Faith

Ephesians 4:5-6 KJV 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Romans 6:4 KJV 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into 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.

Galatians 3:27-29 KJV 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Ephesians 4:6 NIV 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:6 KJV 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Romans 11:36 KJV 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Philippians 2:10-11 NIV 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:10-11 KJV 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 8:6 NIV 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

1 Corinthians 8:6 KJV 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Ephesians 4:5-6 KJV 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

John 17:20-23 KJV 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.



 The Unity Of The Faith.

Ephesians 4:12-13 KJV 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:14 KJV 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 188

Strive earnestly for unity. Pray for it, work for it. It will bring spiritual health, elevation of thought, nobility of character, heavenly-mindedness, enabling you to overcome selfishness and evil surmisings, and to be more than conquerors through Him that loved you and gave Himself for you. Crucify self; esteem others better than yourselves. Thus you will be brought into oneness with Christ. Before the heavenly universe, and before the church and the world, you will bear unmistakable evidence that you are God's sons and daughters. God will be glorified in the example that you set. {9T 188.1}

     The world needs to see worked out before it the miracle that binds the hearts of God's people together in Christian love. It needs to see the Lord's people sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. Will you not give in your lives an evidence of what the truth of God can do for those who love and serve Him? God knows what you can be. He knows what divine grace can do for you if you will be partakers of the divine nature. (p. 189) {9T 188.2}



Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, July 10, 1883

July 10, 1883 The True Missionary Spirit. - By Mrs. E. G. White.

     The true missionary spirit is the spirit of Christ. The world's Redeemer was the great model missionary. Many of his followers have labored earnestly and unselfishly in the cause of human salvation; but no man's labor can bear comparison with the self-denial, the sacrifice, the benevolence of our Exemplar. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 1}

     The love which Christ has evinced for us is without a parallel. How earnestly he labored! How often was he alone in fervent prayer, on the mountain side or in the retirement of the garden, pouring out his supplications with strong crying and tears. How perseveringly he urged his petitions in behalf of sinners! Even on the cross, he forgot his own sufferings in his deep love for those whom he came to save. How cold our love, how feeble our interest, when compared with the love and interest manifested by our Saviour! Jesus gave himself to redeem our race; and yet how ready are we to excuse ourselves from giving all that we have for Jesus. Our Saviour submitted to wearing labor, ignominy and suffering. He was repulsed, mocked, derided, while engaged in the great work which he came to earth to do. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 2}

     Do you, my brethren and sisters, inquire, What model shall we copy? I do not point you to great and good men, but to the world's Redeemer. If we would have the true missionary spirit, we must be imbued with the love of Christ; we must look to the Author and Finisher of our faith, study his character, cultivate his spirit of meekness and humility, and walk in his footsteps. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 3}

     Many suppose that the missionary spirit, and qualification for missionary work, are a special gift or endowment bestowed upon the ministers and a few members of the church, and that all others are to be mere spectators. Never was there a greater mistake. Every true Christian will possess a missionary spirit; for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. "No man liveth to himself," and "if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Every one who has tasted of the powers of the world to come, whether he be young or old, learned or unlearned, will be stirred with the spirit which actuated Christ. The very first impulse of the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Those who do not possess this desire, give evidence that they have lost their first love; they should closely examine their own hearts in the light of God's word, and earnestly seek a fresh baptism of the spirit of Christ; they should pray for a deeper comprehension of that wondrous love which Jesus manifested for us in leaving the realms of glory, and coming to a fallen world to save the perishing. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 4}

     There is work for every one of us in the vineyard of the Lord. We are not to seek that position which will yield us the most enjoyment or the greatest gain. True religion is free from selfishness. The missionary spirit is a spirit of personal sacrifice. We are to work anywhere and everywhere, to the utmost of our ability, for the cause of our Master. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 5}

     Just as soon as a person is really converted to the truth, there springs up in his heart an earnest desire to go and tell some friend or neighbor of the precious light shining forth from the sacred pages. In his unselfish labor to save others, he is a living epistle, known and read of all men. His life shows that he has been converted to Christ, and has become a co-laborer with him. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 6}

     As a class, Seventh-day Adventists are a generous and warm-hearted people. In the proclamation of the truth for this time, we can rely upon their strong and ready sympathy. When a proper object for their liberality is presented, appealing to their judgment and conscience, it calls forth a hearty response. Their gifts in support of the cause testify that they believe it to be the cause of truth. There are, indeed, exceptions among us. Not all who profess to accept the faith are earnest and true-hearted believers. But the same was true in the days of Christ. Even among the apostles there was a Judas; but that did not prove all to be of the same character. We have no reason for discouragement while we know that there are so many who are devoted to the cause of truth, and are ready to make noble sacrifices to advance it. But there is still a great lack, a great need among us. There is too little of the true missionary spirit. All missionary workers should possess that deep interest for the souls of their fellow-men that will lead heart to heart, in sympathy, and in the love of Jesus. They should plead earnestly for divine aid, and should work wisely to win souls to Christ. A cold, spiritless effort will accomplish nothing. There is need that the spirit of Christ fall upon the sons of the prophets. Then will they manifest such love for the souls of men as Jesus exemplified in his life. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 7}

     The reason why there is no deeper religious fervor, and no more earnest love for one another in the church is, the missionary spirit has been dying out. Little is now said concerning Christ's coming, which was once the theme of thought and of conversation. There is an unaccountable reluctance, a growing disrelish, for religious conversation; and in its stead, idle, frivolous chitchat is indulged in, even by the professed followers of Christ. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 8}

     My brethren and sisters, do you desire to break the spell that holds you? Would you arouse from this sluggishness that resembles the torpor of death? Go to work, whether you feel like it or not. Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus and the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you will find both a stimulant and a tonic; it will both arouse and strengthen. By exercise, your spiritual powers will become more vigorous, so that you can, with better success, work out your own salvation. The stupor of death is upon many who profess Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn, entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of God may warm and soften their icebound natures. Though they may refuse to hear, your efforts will not be lost. In the effort to bless others, your own souls will be blessed. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 9}

     The ministers of the word are God's chosen agency to spread the knowledge of his will; but there is too little of a missionary spirit, even among our ministers. After preaching the word, some confine themselves almost wholly to reading and study, to the neglect of other and vitally important duties. While it is right to devote some time to study, every minister should feel a deep interest to do all that it is possible for him to do for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died. He should visit the people, and with care and wisdom seek to interest them in spiritual things. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 10}

     Ministers of Christ should be united,--of one heart and one mind. They should counsel with one another. None should require their brethren to labor exactly after their plan, but each should preserve his individuality, and all labor for the good of others, esteeming their brethren better than themselves. It is Satan's work to excite envy and jealousy, to alienate affection, weaken confidence, and engender distrust and suspicion. All this hinders unity of faith in intercession with God for the weak and the desponding, for the grace of Christ, for the conversion of sinners, and thus shuts away the blessing which might be ours. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 11}

     We have the theory of the truth, and now we need to seek most earnestly for its sanctifying power. I dare not hold my peace in this time of peril. It is a time of temptation, of despondency. Every one is beset by the wiles of Satan, and we should press together to resist his power. We should be of one mind, speaking the same things, and with one mouth glorifying God. Then may we successfully enlarge our plans, and by vigilant missionary effort, take advantage of every talent we can use in the various departments of the work. When the people see the unity, the wisdom, and the grace of Christ exemplified in their teachers, they will have increased confidence in the work. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 12}

     The light of truth is shedding its bright beams upon the world through missionary effort. The press is an instrumentality by which many are reached whom it would be impossible to reach by ministerial effort. A great work can be done by presenting to the people the Bible just as it reads. Carry the word of God to every man's door, urge its plain statements upon every man's conscience, repeat to all the Saviour's command, "Search the Scriptures." Admonish them to take the Bible as it is, to implore the divine enlightenment, and then, when the light shines, to gladly accept each precious ray, and fearlessly abide the consequences. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 13}

     The down-trodden law of God is to be exalted before the people; as soon as they turn with earnestness and reverence to the holy Scriptures, light from Heaven will reveal to them wondrous things out of God's law. Great truths that have long been obscured by superstition and false doctrine, will blaze forth from the illuminated pages of the sacred word. The living oracles pour forth their treasures new and old, bringing light and joy to all who will receive them. Many are roused from their slumber. They rise as it were from the dead, and receive the light and life which Christ alone can give. Truths which have proved an overmatch for giant intellects are understood by babes in Christ. To these is plainly revealed that which has clouded the spiritual perception of the most learned expositors of the word, because, like the Sadducees of old, they were ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 14}

     Those who study the Bible with a sincere desire to know and do the will of God, will become wise unto salvation. The Sabbath-school is an important branch of missionary work, not only to give to young and old a knowledge of God's word, but to awaken in them a love for its sacred truths, and a desire to study it for themselves; above all, to teach them to regulate their lives by its holy teachings. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 15}

     All who take the word of God as their rule of life are brought into close relationship with one another. The Bible is their bond of union. But their companionship will not be sought or desired by those who do not bow to the sacred word as the one unerring guide. They will be at variance, both in faith and practice. There can be no harmony between them; they are unreconcilable. As Seventh-day Adventists we appeal from custom and tradition to the plain "Thus saith the Lord," and for this reason we are not, and we cannot be, in harmony with the multitudes who teach and follow the doctrines and commandments of men. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 16}

     All who are born of God will become co-workers with Christ. Such are the salt of the earth. "But if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" If the religion we profess fails to renew our hearts and sanctify our lives, how shall it exert a saving power upon unbelievers? "It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." That religion which will not exert a regenerating power upon the world, is of no value. We cannot trust it for our own salvation. The sooner we cast it away the better; for it is powerless and spurious. {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 17}

     We are to serve under our great Leader, to press against every opposing influence, to be laborers together with God. The work appointed us is to sow the gospel seed beside all waters. In this work every one must act a part. The manifold grace of Christ imparted to us constitutes us stewards of talents which we must increase by putting them out to the exchangers, that when the Master calls for them, he may receive his own with usury. - {RH, July 10, 1883 par. 18}

Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, April 22, 1884


     Many prayers are offered without faith. A set form of words is used, but there is no real importunity. These prayers are doubtful, hesitating; they bring no relief to those who offer them, and no comfort or hope to others. The form of prayer is used, but the spirit is wanting, showing that the petitioner does not feel his need, and is not hungering and thirsting after righteousness. These long, cold prayers are untimely and wearisome; they are too much like preaching the Lord a sermon. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 1}

     Learn to pray short and right to the point, asking for just what you need. Learn to pray aloud where only God can hear you. Do not offer make-believe prayers, but earnest, feeling petitions, expressing the hunger of the soul for the Bread of Life. If we prayed more in secret, we should be able to pray more intelligently in public. These doubtful, hesitating prayers would cease. And when we engaged with our brethren in public worship, we could add to the interest of the meeting; for we should bring with us some of the atmosphere of Heaven, and our worship would be a reality, and not a mere form. Those about us can soon tell whether we are in the habit of praying or not. If the soul is not drawn out in prayer in the closet and while engaged in the business of the day, it will be manifest in the prayer-meeting. The public prayers will be dry and formal, consisting of repetitions and customary phrases, and they will bring darkness rather than light into the meeting. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 2}

     The life of the soul depends upon habitual communion with God. Its wants are made known, and the heart is open to receive fresh blessings. Gratitude flows from unfeigned lips; and the refreshing that is received from Jesus is manifested in words, in deeds of active benevolence, and in public devotion. There is love to Jesus in the heart; and where love exists, it will not be repressed, but will express itself. Secret prayer sustains this inner life. The heart that loves God will desire to commune with him, and will lean on him in holy confidence. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 3}

     Let us learn to pray intelligently, expressing our requests with clearness and precision. Let us put away the listless, sluggish habit into which we have fallen, and pray as though we meant it. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Faith takes a firm hold of the promises of God, and urges her petitions with fervor; but when the life of the soul stagnates, the outward devotions become formal and powerless. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 4}

     I have listened to testimonies like this: "I have not the light that I desire; I have not the assurance of the favor of God." Such testimonies express only unbelief and darkness. Are you expecting that your merit will recommend you to the favor of God, and that you must be free from sin before you trust his power to save? If this is the struggle going on in your mind, I fear you will gain no strength, and will finally become discouraged. As the brazen serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so was Christ lifted up to draw all men unto him. All who looked upon that serpent, the means that God had provided, were healed; so in our sinfulness, in our great need, we must "look and live." While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we must not be discouraged; we must rely upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Poor sin-sick, discouraged soul, look and live. Jesus has pledged his word; he will save all who come unto him. Then let us come confessing our sins, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 5}

     Jesus is our Saviour today. He is pleading for us in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and he will forgive our sins. It makes all the difference in the world with us spiritually whether we rely upon God without doubt, as upon a sure foundation, or whether we are seeking to find some righteousness in ourselves before we come to him. Look away from self to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It is a sin to doubt. The least unbelief, if cherished in the heart, involves the soul in guilt, and brings great darkness and discouragement. It is saying that the Lord is false; that he will not do as he has promised; and he is greatly dishonored. Some have cherished doubts, discontent, and a disposition to be on the wrong side, until they love doubts, and seem to think it is praiseworthy to be on the side of the doubting. But when the believing ones shall receive the end of their faith, even the salvation of their souls, the doubting ones, who have sowed unbelief, will reap that which they have sown, and a pitiful, undesirable harvest it will be. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 6}

     Some seem to feel that they must be on probation, and must prove to the Lord that they are reformed before they can claim his blessing. But these dear souls may claim the blessing of God even now. They must have his grace, the spirit of Christ to help their infirmities, or they cannot form Christian characters. Jesus loves to have us come to him just as we are,--sinful, helpless, dependent. We claim to be children of the light, not of the night nor of darkness; what right have we to be unbelieving? {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 7}

     Some obtain answers to prayer, a little freedom, and they become elated. They do not increase in faith, do not grow in strength and courage, but they depend on feeling. If they happen to feel well, they think they are in favor with God. How many stumble here, how many are overcome! Feeling is no criterion for any of us. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." We are to examine our characters in God's mirror, his holy law, to detect our errors and imperfections, and then to remove them by the precious blood of Christ. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 8}

     Jesus, who died for us, loves us with a love that is infinite; and we must love one another. We must put away all selfishness, and work together in love and unity. We have loved and petted ourselves, and excused ourselves in our waywardness; but we have been unmerciful toward our brethren, who are not as faulty as ourselves. The Lord loves us, and bears with us, even when we are ungrateful to him, forgetful of his mercies, wickedly unbelieving; but consider, brethren, how relentless we are to one another, how pitiless; how we hurt and wound one another when we should love as Christ has loved us. Let us make a complete change. Let us cultivate the precious plant of love, and delight to help one another. We must be kind, forbearing, patient with one another's errors; we must keep our sharp criticisms for ourselves, but hope all things, believe all things, of our brethren. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

     When we have cultivated a spirit of charity, we may commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator, not because we are sinless, but because Jesus died to save just such erring, faulty creatures as we are, thus expressing his estimate of the value of the human soul. We may rest upon God, not because of our own merit, but because the righteousness of Christ will be imputed to us. We must look away from self to the spotless Lamb of God, who did no sin; and by looking to him in living faith, we shall become like him. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 10}

     There are rich promises for us in the word of God. The plan of salvation is ample. It is no narrow, limited provision that has been made for us. We are not obliged to trust in the evidence that we had a year or a month ago, but we may have the assurance today that Jesus lives, and is making intercession for us. We cannot do good to those around us while our own souls are destitute of spiritual life. Our ministers do not wrestle all night in prayer, as many godly ministers before us have done. They sit up bent over tables, writing lessons, or preparing articles to be read by thousands; they arrange facts in shape to convince the mind in regard to doctrine. All these things are essential; but how much God can do for us in sending light and convicting power to hearts in answer to the prayer of faith! The empty seats in our prayer-meetings testify that Christians do not realize the claims of God upon them; they do not realize their duty to make these meetings interesting and successful. They go over a monotonous, wearisome round, and return to their home unrefreshed, unblessed. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 11}

     If we would refresh others, we must ourselves drink of the Fountain that never becomes dry. It is our privilege to become acquainted with the Source of our strength, to have hold of the arm of God. If we would have spiritual life and energy, we must commune with God. We can speak to him of our real wants; and our earnest petitions will show that we realize our needs, and will do what we can to answer our own prayers. We must obey the injunction of Paul, "Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 12}

     Luther was a man of prayer. He worked and prayed as though something must be done, and that at once, and it was done. His prayers were followed up by venturing something on the promises of God; and, through divine aid, he was enabled to shake the vast power of Rome, so that in every country the foundations of the church trembled. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 13}

     The Spirit of God co-operates with the humble worker that abides in Christ and communes with him. Pray when you are faint-hearted. When you are desponding, close the lips firmly to men; keep all the darkness within, lest you shadow the path of another, but tell it to Jesus. Ask for humility, wisdom, courage, increase of faith, that you may see light in his light, and rejoice in his love. Only believe, and you shall surely see the salvation of God. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 14}

April 22, 1884 Preparation for Camp-Meetings Our camp-meetings are held at considerable expense, and should be so managed as to accomplish the greatest amount of good. If they are properly located, and conducted as God would have them, they will be an excellent means of letting the light shine to the world. When our people are fully awake to the fact that our work is not to be limited, but it is to be aggressive and extended, they will not hold their State camp-meetings in one locality year after year. There are some who will plead for this because it accommodates them; it enables them to attend without much effort or expense. And rather than displease these brethren whom he loves, the president of the Conference will accede to their wishes, although he knows it is not right nor best. Do the selfish few who make this plea consider that the truth is thus prevented from going to many who would perhaps appreciate it more highly than they do? {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 1}

     In some cases, the camp-meetings are held in the same place year after year, and as the people have had the truth, there are no new conversions. And yet these Conferences have not enough of the missionary spirit to see the necessity of making a change. The human heart is naturally inclined to selfishness; and the few who decide this question consider it best to let the meeting remain in one locality, if by this means they can avoid trouble and expense. But these considerations should not have the least weight in deciding matters of so much importance. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 2}

     Great wisdom is needed in order to act wisely, and yet offend as little as possible; but should a kind, God-fearing minister attempt to conduct the affairs of a Conference in such a way as to please all, he will be liable to end by pleasing no one. The presidents of the several Conferences should seek wisdom of God, and should counsel with men of experience, and they should then work for the general good of the cause of God. The interests of selfish, money-loving men and women should not sway their judgment, even if these persons are greatly offended because their wishes are not met. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 3}

     Those who seek merely to save their own souls,--who study their own convenience, and are indifferent to the condition and destiny of their fellow-men,--will fail to put forth sufficient effort to secure their own salvation. They have neither time nor inclination to become men of prayer, ready for the performance of every duty; and at last they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The unselfish love that was manifested in the life of Christ will be seen in the lives of all his true followers. They will love souls, and will do all in their power to win them to the service of Him who died for them. If they fail to win so much as one soul to Christ, it is because they have no deep love for him, and they will have no honored place in the household of God. But "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever." {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 4}

     Our camp-meetings should be changed from place to place, that the light of truth may reach the greatest number of people. And if those who conduct them decide to hold them in prominent places near large cities, and if they make special efforts to secure a large attendance, they should feel under obligation to do all in their power to have the truth properly represented, and to make the meetings a success. Their responsibility in this direction is increased in proportion to the publicity they give the meetings and the efforts they make to get people to attend. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 5}

     Our camp-meetings should continue two weeks. Not one-third the good is accomplished when the meeting is held a single week that would be if it were held a week longer. If the meeting is held but a week, there is not time for the truth to affect the heart and change the channel of the thought before the camp is astir, the tents are struck, and the people are on their way home. All care should be left behind, and all should be free to enter heartily into the spirit of the meeting. Our brethren should come at the commencement of the meeting, and stay to the close. They should make preparation for this, and as far as possible lay aside every worldly interest. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 6}

     On every camp-ground there should be well-matured plans for pitching the tents. Have them in order; do not let the grounds look as though the tents had flown there, and had lighted on it just as it happened. Some one should understand the pitching of the tents, and oversee this part of the work. It should not be allowed to drag, so that it will take two or three days of the meeting to get the tents all pitched. The ministers, who labor in word and doctrine, are not the ones to drive the stakes, while young men stand looking on. They should be left free to give themselves to the study of the word and to prayer, that they may do noble work for God. Let the laymen do their part faithfully, and let the older and more experienced brethren act as counselors. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 7}

     The tents should be securely staked; and in a country where there is liability of rains, they should be trenched. If there has been no rain for weeks, this should be no excuse for want of thoroughness in this matter. Lives have been imperiled, and even lost, through neglect of this precaution. People in new countries sometimes become careless; but it should be one of the principles of our faith to correct this tendency to slack, indolent habits. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 8}

     The special directions which God gave to the Israelites when they lived in tents, should be often read. There was order in the arrangement of the tents, and most careful order in pitching the tabernacle. Men were assigned to particular duties, and any unfaithfulness caused confusion, and was severely punished. Each man was to do the duty assigned him promptly and without murmuring. By this the Lord designed to show that he is a God of order, and that he does not sanction any confusion in his work. He had what might be called a training school in the wilderness, and his people need training now just as much as they did then; for the Lord is no less particular now than he was in the days of ancient Israel. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

     The church militant is not the church triumphant, but is composed of erring men and women. As in an army soldiers must be trained and disciplined for active service, so must the soldiers of Christ be educated for usefulness in his cause. It may be far easier for the president of a Conference to labor himself than to direct the work of others; but it is his duty to take an oversight of the field, and see that all are working to the best advantage. The younger men should be developing their talents, and preparing for future usefulness; and the older and more experienced ministers should not be left to expend their energies on work that others could do as well as not, and would be willing to do if they were only told how. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 10}