Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, etc. - This barbarous expression, an hungered, should be banished out of the text, wheresoever it occurs, and the simple word hungry substituted for it. Whatever is done for Christ's sake, is done through Christ's grace; and he who does the work attributes to Jesus both the will and the power by which the work was done, and seeks and expects the kingdom of heaven not as a reward, but as a gift of pure unmerited mercy. Yet, while workers together with his grace, God attributes to them that which they do through his influence, as if they had done it independently of him. God has a right to form what estimate he pleases of the works wrought through himself: but man is never safe except when he attributes all to his Maker.
Then shall the righteous - This answer is indicative of humility - a deep sense of their being unworthy such commendation. They will feel that their poor acts of kindness have come so far short of what they should have been that they have no claim to praise or reward. It is not, however, to be supposed that in the day of judgment this will be actually “said” by the righteous, but that this would be a proper expression of their feelings.
From what has been shown me, Sabbathkeepers are growing more selfish as they increase in riches. Their love for Christ and His people is decreasing. They do not see the wants of the needy, nor feel their sufferings and sorrows. They do not realize that in neglecting the poor and the suffering they neglect Christ, and that in relieving the wants and sufferings of the poor as far as possible, they minister to Jesus. 2T 24.1
Christ says to His redeemed people: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. 2T 24.2Read in context »
Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes music in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds and numbers the performer of them with His most precious treasures. “And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, when I make up My jewels.” Every merciful act to the needy or the suffering is as though done to Jesus. Whoever succors the poor, or sympathizes with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriends the orphan, brings himself into a more close relationship to Jesus.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881. ChS 268.1
Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan, as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records, and will be rewarded.—Testimonies for the Church 3:512, 513. ChS 268.2Read in context »
Perfection, holiness, nothing short of this, would give them success in carrying out the principles He had given them. Without this holiness the human heart is selfish, sinful, and vicious. Holiness will lead its possessor to be fruitful and abound in all good works. He will never become weary in well-doing, neither will he look for promotion in this world. He will look forward for promotion to the time when the Majesty of heaven shall exalt the sanctified ones to His throne. Then shall He say unto them: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The Lord then enumerates the works of self-denial and mercy, compassion and righteousness, which they had wrought. Holiness of heart will produce right actions. It is the absence of spirituality, of holiness, which leads to unrighteous acts, to envy, hatred, jealousy, evil surmisings, and every hateful and abominable sin. 2T 445.1
I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress and terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities. I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved—not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God's own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate. 2T 445.2
The words of Christ are plain: “Strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Not all professed Christians are Christians at heart. There are sinners in Zion now, as there were anciently. Isaiah speaks of them in referring to the day of God: “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” 2T 446.1Read in context »
Everything savoring of unbecoming familiarity should be discarded by physicians, superintendent, and helpers. There should be no giving of special favors or special attentions to a few, no preferring of one above another. This has been done, and it is displeasing to God. There are worthy persons who are afflicted and suffering, but do not complain, who are in need of special attentions. These men and women are often passed by with indifference and with a hardness of heart that is more like Satan's character than like Christ's, while young, forward misses, who in no way need or deserve favors, receive special attentions. All this neglect is written in the books of heaven. All these things are developing character. MM 146.1
Let all who are connected with the institution as helpers bear in mind the words of Inspiration: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” When you pass by one who is in need of your sympathy, of your kindly acts, and give them not, but turn to the forward ones and bestow upon them your favors, remember that Jesus is insulted in the person of His afflicted ones. He says, “I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was ... naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” And when the surprised inquiry comes, When saw we Thee thus? the answer, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these [who were afflicted and needed your sympathy], ye did it not to Me.” “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” They that are rich need not your favors, but they that are poor. The bruised and wounded, the lame of the flock, are among us, and these test the character of those who claim to be children of God. MM 146.2Read in context »