Lesson & References Index

Lesson 12: September 17 - 23

Urban Ministry in the End Time

(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory Text: Jeremiah 29:7

7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Revelation 14:6
The Proclamations of Three Angels

6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—

Sunday – The Nature of Cities

Read Acts 18
1 Corinthians 9:20-23

20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to thosewho are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who areunder the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

Monday – The Hurting Place

Exodus 2:23-25

23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

Exodus 6:5

5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.

Psalm 12:5

5 “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”

Romans 8:22

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Job 24:12

12 The dying groan in the city,
And the souls of the wounded cry out;
Yet God does not charge them with wrong.

Tuesday - Sowing and Reaping in Cities

Matthew 13:3-9

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Matthew 13:18-23
The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked onecomes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Read 1 Corinthians 12
Read Romans 12
Read Ephesians 4
Ellen G. White, Evangelism, pp. 69-72.
The Evangelist and His Team

Evangelism and Evangelists—When I think of the cities in which so little work has been done, in which there are so many thousands to be warned of the soon coming of the Saviour, I feel an intensity of desire to see men and women going forth to the work in the power of the Spirit filled with Christ's love for perishing souls....

My mind is deeply stirred. In every city there is work to be done. Laborers are to go into our large cities and hold camp meetings. In these meetings, the very best talent is to be employed, that the truth may be proclaimed with power. Men of varied gifts are to be brought in....

New methods must be introduced. God's people must awake to the necessities of the time in which they are living. God has men whom He will call into His service,—men who will not carry forward the work in the lifeless way in which it has been carried forward in the past....

In our large cities the message is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. God will raise up laborers for this work, and His angels will go before them. Let no one hinder these men of God's appointment. Forbid them not. God has given them their work. Let the message be given with so much power that the hearers shall be convinced.

Strong Men Needed

I call upon our ministering brethren to consider this matter. Let strong men be appointed to work in the great centers.

A Variety of Talent

In our tent meetings we must have speakers who can make a good impression on the people. The ability of one man, however intelligent this man may be, is insufficient to meet the need. A variety of talents should be brought into these meetings.

Second Man a Good Investment

The Lord designs that His work shall be carried solidly. To enter a new field involves large expense. But the extra expense of a second man to help Brother _____ will be an investment that will bring returns. I feel to urge this matter because so much is at stake. I pray the Lord to impress your minds to carry out His will.

Holding Large Audiences

The Lord has given to some ministers the ability to gather and to hold large congregations. As they labor in the fear of God, their efforts will be attended by the deep movings of the Holy Spirit upon human hearts....

I am charged to wake up the watchmen. The end of all things is at hand. Now is the accepted time. Let our ministers and presidents of conferences exercise their tact and skill in presenting the truth before large numbers of people in our cities. As you labor in simplicity, hearts will be melted. Bear in mind that as you deliver the testing message for this time, your own heart will be softened and quickened by the subduing influence of the Holy Spirit, and you will have souls for your hire. As you stand before multitudes in the cities, remember that God is your helper, and that by His blessing you may bear a message of a character to reach the hearts of the hearers.

Men and Women to Teach Truth

Wise teachers—men and women who are apt in teaching the truths of the Word—are needed in our cities. Let these present the truth in all its sacred dignity, and with sanctified simplicity.

Paul a Traveling Evangelist

Paul's was a life of intense and varied activities. From city to city, from country to country, he journeyed, telling the story of the cross, winning converts to the gospel, and establishing churches.

Strong, Courageous Workers

Feeble or aged men and women should not be sent to labor in unhealthful, crowded cities. Let them labor where their lives will not be needlessly sacrificed. Our brethren who bring the truth to the cities must not be obliged to imperil their health in the noise and bustle and confusion, if retired places can be secured.

Those who are engaged in the difficult and trying work in the cities should receive every encouragement possible. Let them not be subjected to unkind criticism from their brethren. We must have a care for the Lord's workers who are opening the light of truth to those who are in the darkness of error.

Wednesday – Make It Personal

John 15:12, 13

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

James 1:27

27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Galatians 6:2

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Acts 2:46

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, pp. 19-22.

Our ministers are not to spend their time laboring for those who have already accepted the truth. With Christ's love burning in their hearts, they are to go forth to win sinners to the Saviour. Beside all waters they are to sow the seeds of truth. Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up. Those who take their stand for the truth are to be organized into churches, and then the minister is to pass on to other equally important fields.

Just as soon as a church is organized, let the minister set the members at work. They will need to be taught how to labor successfully. Let the minister devote more of his time to educating than to preaching. Let him teach the people how to give to others the knowledge they have received. While the new converts should be taught to ask counsel from those more experienced in the work, they should also be taught not to put the minister in the place of God. Ministers are but human beings, men compassed with infirmities. Christ is the One to whom we are to look for guidance. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:14, 16.

The power of the gospel is to come upon the companies raised up, fitting them for service. Some of the new converts will be so filled with the power of God that they will at once enter the work. They will labor so diligently that they will have neither time nor disposition to weaken the hands of their brethren by unkind criticism. Their one desire will be to carry the truth to the regions beyond.

The Lord has presented before me the work that must be done in our cities. The believers in these cities can work for God in the neighborhood of their homes. They are to labor quietly and in humility, carrying with them wherever they go the atmosphere of heaven. If they keep self out of sight, pointing always to Christ, the power of their influence will be felt.

As a worker gives himself unreservedly to the service of the Lord, he gains an experience that enables him to labor more and more successfully for the Master. The influence that drew him to Christ helps him to draw others to Christ. The work of a public speaker may never be laid upon him, but he is nonetheless a minister for God, and his work testifies that he is born of God.

It is not the Lord's purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their friends and neighbors, they could do a great work for the Master. God is no respecter of persons. He will use humble, devoted Christians, even if they have not received so thorough an education as some others. Let such ones engage in service for Him by doing house-to-house work. Sitting by the fireside, they can—if humble, discreet, and godly—do more to meet the real needs of families than could an ordained minister.

Why do not believers feel a deeper, more earnest concern for those who are out of Christ? Why do not two or three meet together and plead with God for the salvation of some special one, and then for still another? In our churches let companies be formed for service. Let different ones unite in labor as fishers of men. Let them seek to gather souls from the corruption of the world into the saving purity of Christ's love.

The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort has been presented to me by One who cannot err. If there is a large number in the church, let the members be formed into small companies, to work not only for the church members, but for unbelievers. If in one place there are only two or three who know the truth, let them form themselves into a band of workers. Let them keep their bond of union unbroken, pressing together in love and unity, encouraging one another to advance, each gaining courage and strength from the assistance of the others. Let them reveal Christlike forbearance and patience, speaking no hasty words, using the talent of speech to build one another up in the most holy faith. Let them labor in Christlike love for those outside the fold, forgetting self in their endeavor to help others. As they work and pray in Christ's name, their numbers will increase; for the Saviour says: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.”Matthew 18:19.

Thursday – Reaching Out to the Cities

Romans 7:14

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:4

4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ellen G. White, Medical Ministry, pp. 303-305.
A Mission in Every City

In every city there should be a city mission, that would be a training school for workers. Many of our brethren must stand condemned in the sight of God because they have not done the very work that God would have them do.

If our brethren will use their God-given ability to warn the cities, angels of God will surely go before them to make the impression upon the hearts of the people for whom they labor. The Lord has many thousands who have never bowed the knee to Baal. Let not our ministers and our physicians fail nor be discouraged.

A Mighty Movement

There is no change in the messages that God has sent in the past. The work in the cities is the essential work for this time. When the cities are worked as God would have them, the result will be the setting in operation of a mighty movement such as we have not yet witnessed. God calls for self-sacrificing men converted to the truth to let their light shine forth in clear, distinct rays....

As a people we are not half awake to a sense of our necessities and to the times in which we live. Wake up the watchmen. Our first work should be to search our hearts and to become reconverted. We have no time to lose upon unimportant issues.


In this effort in behalf of the cities, we greatly need the cooperation of all classes of laborers. Especially do we need the help that the physician can render as an evangelist. If ministers and physicians will plan to unite in an effort to reach the honest-hearted ones in our cities, the physicians, as well as the ministers, will be placed on vantage ground. As they labor in humility God will open the way before them, and many will receive a saving knowledge of truth.

Move Forward

The principles of health reform are to be promulgated as a part of the work in these cities. The voice of the third angel's message is to be heard with power. Let the teachings of health reform be brought into every effort made to get the light of truth before the people. Let workers be selected who are qualified to teach the truth wisely in clear, simple lines. Let us not wait before beginning this work until all the way is made clear. Faith says, Move forward. Christ says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Go on, step by step, departing not from that spirit of sanctification through the truth which the presence of the Spirit of God and obedience to the truth will give

Romans 10:14, 15
Israel Rejects the Gospel

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Friday: Further Thought

Read Ellen G. White, Ministry to the Cities
Ellen G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 29, and October 6, 1891
"Missionary Work"

Every eye in the unfallen universe is bent upon those who profess to be Christ's followers. Here, in this atom of a world, an earnest warfare is going on,--a battle in which Christ, our substitute and surety, has engaged in our behalf, and conquered. Now we, Christ's purchased possession, must become soldiers of his cross, and conquer in our own behalf, on our own account, through the power and wisdom given us from above. The influence of the cross of Calvary is to vanquish every earthly and spiritual evil power; and we need to know the plan of the battle, that we may work in harmony with Christ.

The promulgation of the gospel is not a haphazard work, operating at random. In the aggressive warfare of truth against error, light against darkness, there is work to be done both in heaven and on earth, and the workers on the earth are to move in perfect harmony with the heavenly agencies. Then the world will see the work moving in wisdom, and although they cannot understand or explain it, they note the effect. But when we, the human agencies, step outside of God's plan, the beauty and harmony of the arrangement is marred, and the work intrusted to our hands does not present the divine characteristics. Adherence to God's plan, which is comprehensive and connected in all its parts, is positively essential to success in the conversion of many souls to Christ.

Human influence, deriving its efficiency from heaven, is God's instrumentality through which the gospel is to be diffused, and its transforming effects revealed. We are to influence one another for good, keeping the Lord ever before us, working with the unseen world in view. The work of Satan is to interpose his sophistry, his lying statements, to lead men to believe a lie rather than the words of God, which are the truth. It is thus that he leads men into presumptuous sins. Satan is ever at work to keep out of our minds the doctrine of the cross of Christ; for this is the counter-influence through which sin is to be vanquished and man be brought back to his allegiance to the law of God.

The cross stands alone, a great center in the world. It does not find friends, but it makes them. It creates its own agencies. Christ proposes that men shall become laborers together with God. He makes human beings his instrumentalities for drawing all men unto himself. A divine agency is sufficient only through its operation on human hearts with its transforming power, making men co-laborers with God.

"Be ye perfect," said Christ, "even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." There cannot be a complete, harmonious development of Christian character when Christians exclude themselves from the world; for in this they are not following the example of Christ. "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Not in the closet alone is perfection of character reached, nor solely in the public assembly; it should be our first work to seek the Lord with humble hearts, to learn his way; then we are to take him with us into the public assembly. Thought and action, prayer and work, are all essential. "Ye are laborers together with God." It is our privilege to be so closely connected with God that we shall know his will.

I have seen so much of the disposition to ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" that I have wondered how the Lord could bear with our perversity. The True Witness looks on, beholding all our works.

He marks the selfish, self-caring spirit shown toward our brethren which is so unlike the spirit and works of Christ, which misrepresents his character. As we drink at the fountain and are refreshed, we are to search for other souls who are thirsty, and in love direct them to the same fountain, that they may be refreshed. If we do this, the choicest of heaven's blessings will be ours.

Mighty truths have been committed to human agencies, truths which, when unfolded, quicken into activity the minds of men and women who are in the darkness of error, and call to them, "Come; for all things are now ready." The knowledge of truth is the great power of God unto salvation to all who believe. The atoning sacrifice, the righteousness of Christ, is to us the vital center of all truth. In the cross of Calvary, mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The law and the gospel are in perfect harmony; they are interwoven as the warp and the woof. They shed a flood of light amid the moral darkness of the world, stimulating, renovating, sanctifying, all who will believe the truth, all who will gladly and gratefully accept the light coming from the throne of God.

We see the great need of missionary work to carry the truth not only to foreign countries, but to those who are near us. Close around us are cities and towns in which no efforts are made to save souls. Why should not families who know the present truth settle in these cities and villages, to set up there the standard of Christ, working in humility, not in their own way, but in God's way, to bring the light before those who have no knowledge of it? When the Church shall truly have the spirit of the message, they will throw all their energies into the work of saving the souls for whom Christ has died. They will enter new fields. Some who are not ordained ministers will be laborers together with God in visiting the churches, and trying to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. There will be laymen who will move into towns and cities, and into apparently out-of-the-way places, that they may let the light which God has given them, shine forth to others. Some whom they meet will not appear to be the most promising subjects, but the only question should be, Will they come into harmony with Christ? will they become partakers of his spirit, so that their influence, in precept and example, will present the attractions of the Author of truth and righteousness? In places where the truth is not known, brethren who are adapted to the work, might hire a hall, or some other suitable place to assemble, and gather together all who will come. Then let them instruct the people in the truth. They need not sermonize, but take the Bible, and let God speak directly out of his word. If there is only a small number present, they can read a "Thus saith the Lord," without a great parade or excitement; just read and explain the simple gospel truth, and sing and pray with them.

There are many souls who are starving for the bread of life. You may not know where to find them; but Jesus knows, and he will lead them into the light. It may seem to you that this is not a heroic work, nothing that will bring any special glory to yourselves; but that is not what you should labor for. You must walk humbly with God. Let him work; let him lead you. Consecrate yourselves to him daily, as workers, and submit yourselves to the influence of his Holy Spirit.

There are some churches that are doing very little except to get into trouble, and then call the ministers of Christ from important labor to settle their perplexities and grievances which are the result of their own unsanctified course of action. It is the wickedness of the human heart that creates dissension. This it is that is raising the greatest barriers to the union which Christ prayed might exist among his disciples. Men and women who profess to love God will sit down at ease in their fancied prosperity, content to while away precious, golden moments in pleasing themselves, and doing nothing to enlighten those who have never heard the truth. It is for us to fulfill the commission of Christ, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Let there be in every church, well-organized companies of workers to labor in the vicinity of that church. Put self behind you, and let Christ go before as your life and power. Let this work be entered into without delay, and the truth will be as leaven in the earth. When such forces are set to work in all our churches, there will be a renovating, reforming, energizing power in the churches, because the members are doing the very work that God has given them to do. Let all our churches be active, zealous, filled will enthusiasm by the Spirit and power of God. It is the intelligent use of the means, the capabilities, the powers, given you by God, consecrated to his service, that will tell in the communities where you may labor. It may be that you will have to make a very small beginning in some places; but do not be discouraged; the work will grow larger,and you will be doing the work of an evangelist. Look at Christ's manner of working, and strive to labor as he did.

When Jesus came to this world, he found it in a deplorable state of sin and rebellion. He did not move far away from this rebellious multitude, but he came and dwelt among them. Because iniquity abounded, he came close to man in sympathy and tender, pitying love. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; yet he came to earth to be one with the oppressed, the poor, the needy; he came to demonstrate how much a God can love, a Saviour suffer, in order to save men from perdition, and bring eternal life within their reach.

Character is influence. Christ's work was to draw minds into sympathy with his own divine mind. He gave his whole self as a sacrifice. We need to regard the Lord Jesus as our personal Saviour. When we do this, we shall, by the grace of Christ, make simple, tender, earnest personal appeals to those who are not Christians. The trouble with many in the church is, they will do anything but the thing which is of the most importance, that which God wants them to do. They feel that they cannot approach men and women in simplicity, and try in the name and strength of Jesus to come close to their hearts. This heart-to-heart work is strangely neglected. If those who profess to be Christians, believing the truth for these last days, would consider the result of their inaction, their wicked indifference to the welfare of the souls for whom Christ has paid the price of his own life, there would be a decided change for the better in our world.

Every work is to be brought in review before God. Every intrusted talent is to be estimated, to see what improvements have been made upon it. God knows what you have done in blessing others, and what you have not done. The True Witness says, "I know thy works." He sees who are the willing, faithful workers, and who are the slothful servants.

I appeal to every man and woman who shall read these words, to remember that a reckoning is to be made by the One whom God hath appointed to judge the world. Everyone must then give account of the talents intrusted to him. "None of us liveth to himself." Christ said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Jesus, "for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame," sacrificing his life that all who should believe on him might not perish, but have everlasting life. By this great act the love of God was revealed, and as many as believe on Christ are saved.

Here are the mighty agencies for moving the world. The cross of Calvary brings under tribute every power of those who believe on Christ, that they may be instrumentalities for the saving of souls. Human effort is to be united with the divine; it must derive its efficacy from heaven. We are to be laborers together with God. The Lord is represented as opening the hearts of men and women to receive the word, and the Holy Spirit makes the word effective. Those who receive the truth have that faith which leads to decided action, which works by love, and purifies the soul. Thus the truth is a sanctifier. Its transforming power is seen on the character. When it has been admitted into the inner sanctuary of the soul, it does not operate superficially, leaving the heart unchanged; it does not awaken the emotions merely, to the neglect of the judgment and will; but it goes down to the very depths of the nature, and brings the whole being into harmonious action.

Now the work of him who is truly converted, begins in earnest. He must work as Christ worked. He must not live any longer to himself, but wholly for the Lord. The world has lost him; for his life is hid with Christ in God. That means that self no longer has the supremacy. The light shining from the cross of Calvary holds him in its bright rays, and the Spirit has taken of the things of Christ, and revealed them to him in such an attractive light as to have a transforming effect on his habits and practices, showing that he is a new creature in Christ Jesus. Every dollar he recognizes as of value, not to gratify his taste or lust, not for him to hide in the earth, but to do good with, to help win souls to the truth, to build up the kingdom of Christ. His enjoyment is the same as that of Christ,--in seeing souls saved. Why are we doing so little for the salvation of men, when there is so much to do? Why are we doing so little to draw men and women and children to Christ?

In union there is strength; in disunion there is only weakness. We should work most diligently to answer the prayer of Christ that his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father. If we are united to Christ, the formation of a church will be a benefit to all its members; for by entering into this church union, we pledge ourselves to help one another. The Holy Spirit does not lead us into this to be a mutual admiration society, but to put forth all the powers of our being to help one another, in sympathy, in love, to be more like Jesus.

The wrongs existing in the society of the world should never, never find sanction among Christians. There should be no sympathy with the rich in their oppression of the poor, no encouragement given the poor in their jealousy and envy of the rich. There should be no sanctioning of the strong and influential in trampling upon the weak and helpless. "All ye are brethren." Exact and impartial is the Lord God of heaven. More than this, God demands that you open your hand wide to the needy, and have the tenderest compassion for those who are afflicted, or who are suffering from want. If you turn carelessly from their cry, the Lord will just as surely turn away from your prayer, and he will not hear you in your distress.

If you have the spirit of Christ, you will love as brethren; you will honor the humble disciple in his poor home, because God loves him as much as he loves you, and it may be more. He recognizes no caste. He places his own signet upon men, not by their rank, not by their wealth, not by intellectual greatness, but by their oneness with Christ. It is purity of heart, singleness of purpose, that constitutes the true value of human beings. The attention that is shown to the wealthy, and the neglect of the poor, will be remembered by the Lord, and he will place you where you will pass through experiences similar to those of the afflicted ones who suffered while you passed by on the other side.

All who are living in daily communion with Christ, will place his estimate upon men. They will reverence the good and pure, although these are poor in this world's goods. James says, "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

Here is a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Who will be a doer of the word, and not a forgetful hearer? Here is plainly stated the course that the Lord has marked out for Christians to pursue. In social and religious life they should be governed by a resolute purpose to help and bless the needy poor. Avarice, selfishness, and covetousness are idolatry, and are dishonoring to God "Let your conversation be without covetousness. Tenderness, compassion, and benevolence are enjoined upon Christians.

"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.' "Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also,"--Christian liberality. "But to do good and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

Here the obligation is laid upon everyone who has been trusted with our Lord's goods, to communicate the same to the worthy poor, and to give to God's cause as its needs demand. As God has bounteously given us, we should give back to him his own as he makes a place for it to be invested. Thus we honor God with the substance he has placed in our hands. Thus we shall not be living to ourselves.

God's claims underlie all other claims. He lays his hand upon all that he, from his fullness and beneficence, has intrusted to man, and says: "I am the rightful owner of the universe, and these goods are mine. Use them to advance my cause, to build up my kingdom, and my blessing shall rest upon you."

Those who would have the character of Christ must practice his teachings. They must study the Pattern. Then they will reveal a Christlike character in their association with one another, and their united influence will be exerted in helping to transform the character of others. They will drink in the sympathy of Jesus, and exercise the same forbearance, supporting, encouraging, and animating one another in the work, each being a vital member of the organized body, allied to Jesus, growing up into Christ, the living head, unto the full stature of men and women. Then they will shine as lights in the world, being of one judgment, moved by the same Spirit. They will be a distinct power in the world. The mighty cleaver of truth has detached us from the world, and placed us apart, a separate people. "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." Dwelling in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, we shall shine as lights in the world.

How important that, as we are chosen out of the world, to be separate from it, we should educate and train all our powers in obedience to God's supreme will, that no selfishness may exist among us, that all our work may be done as if done for Christ, not for wages or for applause; that we should not use our intrusted talents of influence and means to please ourselves, but that in all we do, we should manifest the self-denying spirit of Christ. We are not to profess to be Christ's, and then live a lie in our self-care and self-indulgence. We are to come out from the world. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."