He that findeth his life, etc. - i.e. He who, for the sake of his temporal interest, abandons his spiritual concerns, shall lose his soul; and he who, in order to avoid martyrdom, abjures the pure religion of Christ, shall lose his soul, and perhaps his life too. He that findeth his life shall lose it, was literally fulfilled in Archbishop Cranmer. He confessed Christ against the devil, and his eldest son, the pope. He was ordered to be burnt; to save his life he recanted, and was, notwithstanding, burnt. Whatever a man sacrifices to God is never lost, for he finds it again in God.
There is a fine piece on this subject in Juvenal, Sat. viii. l. 80, which deserves to be recorded here.
- ambiguae si quando citabere testis
Incertaeque rei, Phalaris liect imperet ut sis
Falsus, et admoto dictet perjuria tauro,
Summum crede nefas Animam praeferre Pudori
Et propter Vitam Vivendi perdere causas
- If ever call'd
To give thy witness in a doubtful case,
Though Phalaris himself should bid thee lie,
On pain of torture in his flaming bull,
Disdain to barter innocence for life;
To which life owes its lustre and its worth
He that findeth his life - The word “life” in this passage is used evidently in two senses. The meaning may be expressed thus: He that is anxious to save his “temporal” life, or his comfort and security here, shall lose “eternal” life, or shall fail of heaven. He that is willing to risk or lose his comfort and “life” here for my sake, shall find “life” everlasting, or shall be saved. The manner of speaking is similar to that where he said, “Let the dead bury their dead.” See notes at Matthew 8:22.
Do not flatter yourselves that if you should yield the truth all obstacles to your acquiring property would be removed. Satan tells you this; it is his sophistry. If God's blessing rests upon you because you surrender all to Him, you will prosper. If you turn from God, He will turn from you. His hand can scatter faster than you can gather. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” 2T 496.1
You, my dear sister, need a thorough conversion to the truth, which shall slay self. Cannot you trust in God? Please read Matthew 10:25-40. Please read also, with a prayerful heart, Matthew 6:24-34. Let these words impress your heart: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” The better life is here referred to. By the body is meant the inward adorning, which makes sinful mortals, possessing the meekness and righteousness of Christ, valuable in His sight, as was Enoch, and entitles them to receive the finishing touch of immortality. Our Saviour refers us to the fowls of the air, which sow not, neither reap, nor gather into barns, yet their heavenly Father feedeth them. Then He says: “Are ye not much better than they? ... And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” These lilies, in their simplicity and innocence, meet the mind of God better than Solomon in his costly decorations yet destitute of the heavenly adorning. “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail. 2T 496.2Read in context »
You pass your judgment upon individuals, and comment upon their ways and manners, when you do not understand their position or their work. You view things from your standpoint and then are ready to question or condemn the course they pursue, without candidly viewing matters on all sides. You have no knowledge of the duties of others and should not feel responsible for their acts, but do your duty, leaving others with the Lord. Possess your spirit in patience, preserve peace and calmness of mind, and be thankful. 2T 424.1
I saw that the Lord had given you light and experience, that you might see the sinfulness of a hasty spirit and control your passions. So surely as you fail to do this, just so surely you will fail of everlasting life. You must overcome this disease of the imagination. You are extremely sensitive, and if a word is spoken favoring an opposite course from that which you have been pursuing, you are hurt. You feel that you are blamed, and that you must defend yourself, save your life; and in your earnest effort to save your life, you lose it. You have a work to do to die to self and to cultivate a spirit of forbearance and patience. Get over the idea that you are not used right, that you are wronged, that somebody wants to crowd or harm you. You see through false eyes. Satan leads you to take these distorted views of things. 2T 424.2
Dear Brother P, at Adams Center your case was again shown me. I saw that you had ever failed to exercise true self-government. You have made efforts; but these efforts have only reached the external, they have not touched the spring of action. Your hasty temper often causes you sincere and painful regret and self-condemnation. This passionate spirit, unless subdued, will increase to a peevish, faultfinding spirit; indeed, this is already upon you in a degree. You will be ready to resent everything. If jostled upon the sidewalk, you will be offended, and a word of complaint will spring to your lips. When driving in the street, if full half the road is not given you, you will feel stirred in a moment. If asked to put yourself out of your course to accommodate others, you will chafe and fret, and feel that your dignity is imposed upon. You will show to all your besetting sin. Your very countenance will indicate an impatient spirit, and your mouth will seem always ready to utter an angry word. In this habit, as in tobacco using, total abstinence is the only sure remedy. An entire change must take place in you. You frequently feel that you must be more guarded. You resolutely say, “I will be more calm and patient;” but in doing this you only touch the evil on the outside; you consent to retain the lion and watch him. You must go further than this. Strength of principle alone can dislodge this destroying foe and bring peace and happiness. 2T 424.3Read in context »
We fully believe in church organization; but this is not to prescribe the exact way in which we should work, for not all minds are to be reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the servant of God from his fellow men. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his own light to keep burning; and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes; if the vessels are emptied of self, and prepared to receive the holy oil, light will be shed on the sinner's path to some purpose. More light will be shed on the pathway of the wanderer by one such lamp than by a whole procession of torchlights gotten up for show. Personal consecration and sanctification to God will bring better results than the most imposing display. 6T 116.1
Teach our sisters that their question should be each day: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do this day?” Each consecrated vessel will daily have the holy oil emptied into it to be emptied out into other vessels. 6T 116.2
*****Read in context »