In the multitude of words - It is impossible to speak much, and yet speak nothing but truth; and injure no man's character in the mean while.
There wanteth not sin - Some render this, “Sin shall not cease,” etc., i. e., many words do not mend a fault. Silence on the part both of the reprover and the offender is often better. The King James Version is, however, preferable.
If you would always manifest kindness, respect, noble love and generosity, toward even wicked men, you might render effectual service to Christ. If the spirit of Christ dwelt in you, you would represent Him in your words, in your actions, and even in the expression of your countenance. Your conversation would be expressive of meekness, not proud and boastful. You would not seek to exalt and glorify self. Humility is a Christian grace with which you are unacquainted. You have aspired for the supremacy and have tried to cause your power and superiority to be felt in ruling and dictating to others. Especially has this been the case with A B. He and his wife cannot advance the moral and spiritual standing of the cause of God by their influence. The more limited their sphere in connection with the cause of God the better will it be for the cause. Their words and acts in matters of deal are not reliable. This is the case with A B and his brothers generally. The world and the church have a right to say that their religion is vain. They are worldly and scheming, and watch their opportunity to make a close bargain. They are harsh and severe with those who are connected with them. They are envious, jealous, puffed up. 4T 331.1
Those who thus represent the truth rear a mighty barrier to the salvation of others. Unless they become transformed, it would be better had they never embraced the truth. Their minds are controlled more by Satan than by the Spirit of God. Brother A B's wife naturally possesses a kind heart, but she has been molded by her husband. She is a careless talker. Her tongue is frequently set on fire of hell; it is untamable. “In the multitude of words,” says Solomon, “there wanteth not sin.” This is certainly true in her case. She exaggerates and bears false witness and is thus constantly transgressing the commandment of God, while she professes to be a commandment keeper. She does not mean to do wrong, but her heart is not sanctified by the truth. 4T 331.2Read in context »
We may deny Christ by our worldly conversation and by our pride of apparel. You have a circle of friends who are a snare to you and to your children. You love their companionship. Through association with them, you are led to dress yourselves and your children after the fashions followed by those who have no fear of God before their eyes. You thus show that you have friendship with the world. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.” Does your intercourse with these friends incline you to visit the closet and ask divine love and grace, or does it estrange your mind from God? And your dear children—what is your neglect of their eternal interests doing for them? Your example has encouraged them to hurry on the life journey with heedless presumption or with blind self-confidence, having no fixed religious principles to guide them. They have no conscientious regard for the Sabbath, or for the claims of God in any respect; they do not love Christian duties, and are straying further and further from the Source of light, peace, and joy. 5T 437.1
Without faith it is impossible to please God; “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” The faith that is required is not a mere assent to doctrines; it is the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Humility, meekness, and obedience are not faith; but they are the effects, or fruit, of faith. These graces you have yet to attain by learning in the school of Christ. You do not know the sentiments and principles of heaven; its language is almost a strange language to you both. The Spirit of God still pleads in your behalf; but I have serious, painful doubts whether you will heed that voice that has been appealing to you for years. I hope you will, and that you will turn and live. 5T 437.2
Do you feel that it is too great a sacrifice to give your poor unworthy selves to Jesus? Will you choose the hopeless bondage of sin and death rather than to have your life severed from the world and united to Christ by bonds of love? Jesus still lives to intercede for us. This should daily call out the gratitude of our hearts. He that realizes his guilt and helplessness may come just as he is and receive the blessing of God. The promise belongs to him if he will grasp it by faith. But he that in his own eyes is rich, and honorable, and righteous, who sees as the world sees, and calls evil good and good evil, cannot ask and receive, because he feels no need. He feels that he is full; therefore he must go away empty. 5T 438.1Read in context »