Our work now is to confirm our souls in the faith,—that faith which is a working faith, which works by love and purifies the soul. Faith, living, active, working faith, we must have. Christ demands this of us. Verily Christ hath need of us now to represent him, not the cold, harsh, denunciatory, overbearing and ruling power of the prince of darkness. Those who are Christ’s friends will now do whatsoever he commands them. Stand, therefore, having on the whole armor, and having done all, to stand. Let the soul temple be cleansed of prejudice, of that root of bitterness, and hatred, whereby many are being defiled. Cling to the mighty one. Communicate to others light, with cheerful words, and with courage in the Lord. Labor to diffuse that faith and confidence that has been your own consolation. Let it be heard from every lip and voice, “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: “for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
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Satan is determined that men shall not see the love of God, which led him to give his only begotten Son to save the lost race; for it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. O, how shall we succeed in setting forth before the world the deep, precious love of God? In no other way can we compass it than by exclaiming, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God”! Let us say to sinners, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” By presenting Jesus as the representative of the Father, we shall be able to dispel the shadow that Satan has cast upon our pathway, in order that we shall not see the mercy and love of God’s inexpressible love as manifested in Jesus Christ.
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This is the true test—the doing of the words of Christ. And it is the evidence of the human agent’s love to Jesus, and he that doeth his will giveth to the world the practical evidence of the fruit he manifests in obedience, in purity, and in holiness of character. “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and the Father will love him, and he will come unto him.”
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The Holy One has given rules for the guidance of all,—the standard of character from which none can swerve and be guiltless. God’s will is to be diligently and conscientiously studied, and it must be made paramount in all the affairs of life. The laws which every human agent is to obey flow from the heart of infinite love.
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We shall be subject to heavy trials, opposition, bereavement, affliction, but we know that Jesus passed through all these. These experiences are valuable to us; the advantages of varying experiences are not by any means confined to this short life; they reach into eternal ages. Through patience, faith, and hope, in all the changing scenes of earth, we are forming characters for the everlasting life. And whatever we are called upon to bear, we may be assured that all things work together for good to those that love God.
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Christ is to be our Captain. We need not tremble or be afraid. Oh, what love the Father has unfolded to us. We are not to be left a helpless prey to the devices of the enemy; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and He loves man with a love that is infinite. No language can express the depths of divine love.
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Oh, that the soul may be thoroughly cleansed! Oh, that the love of God may abide in the soul as a living principle! Cultivate love for Jesus, love for those who believe in Him, and love for the wandering and perishing. We must have the love which is of heavenly birth, and nourish it as a heavenly plant. Stubbornness, which prevails to a fearful extent, must be broken up. The professed followers of Christ should no longer catch up little points of difference, meditating upon them, talking about them, and magnifying them until love is gone from the soul, as water from a leaky vessel. We must have the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ in our hearts, else all our deeds will be as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal.
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