“Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
We profess to be pilgrims and strangers on earth, journeying to a better country, even an heavenly. If we are indeed but sojourners here, traveling to a land where none but the holy can dwell, we shall make it our first business to become acquainted with that country; we shall make diligent inquiry as to the preparation needed, the manners and character which we must have, in order to become citizens there. Jesus, the King of that land, is pure and holy. He has commanded his followers, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” If we are hereafter to associate with Christ and sinless angels, we must here obtain a fitness for such society.
This is our work,–our all-important work. Every other consideration is of minor consequence. Our conversation, our deportment, our every act, should be such as to convince our family, our neighbors, and the world, that we expect soon to remove to a better country. More than this, our godly example should keep ever before their minds the preparation needed by all who would enter that blessed home. Our acts must correspond with our faith, and faith will then be made perfect. We should not engage in the work of preparation merely as a duty, a necessity, but as a privilege which we are happy in accepting. Those whose faith is daily confirmed and strengthened by their works, will become acquainted with self-denial in restricting appetite, controlling ambitious desires, bringing every thought and feeling into harmony with the divine will. They will beware lest they be brought into the bondage of sin by conforming to a worldly standard, and thus, before many witnesses, denying their faith…
– The Review and Herald, November 29, 1881