With others, I am glad to bear testimony to the personal joy and constant peace that fill my heart as I continue on in loving service with God. For more than thirty years it has been my high and happy privilege to preach the distinctive doctrines of the advent message. They are Biblical, logical, sound, and true. From boyhood days they have been increasingly precious to me. The opportunity to proclaim these great monumental truths has been a sacred and joyous experience.
Then, a very few years ago, I read a significant statement wherein the servant of God, in writing of some in the ministry, said, " They may have learned the doctrines of Christ, but they have not learned Christ:'—" Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 174. This striking expression immediately arrested my interest and prayerful attention, and as a result I found a growing and deepening conviction resting upon my heart that there was a better and richer spiritual experience for me, a preacher, to have and enjoy.
By prayer, study, and heart devotion I have " learned Christ " more fully. I have been profoundly impressed with a new revelation of His love for me personally, but this joyous experience has not in any sense lessened my belief in the truths of the message or my interest in seeing the blessed doctrines proclaimed to the ends of the earth. On the contrary, they shine out now the more beautifully and with even greater luster, for to-day I see them centering altogether in Christ, our personal Lord and blessed Redeemer.
I know that for one to preach the doctrines as abstract truth, merely as a prophetical and logical message, or to lay stress upon, to believe in, and defend with earnestness, a set of well-defined doctrines, never of itself answers the heart cry and personal need of a soul, and one's experience in so doing may become very mechanical, dry, and formal.
But I may say also, to the praise of God, that for one who has " learned Christ " as a personal Saviour, there is a holy joy, a blessed quietness, a sweet assuring and sacred love that floods the heart life with a satisfying peaceful experience and richness of faith that answers the soul's need every day. Therefore, as I follow on with gladsome heart, yielding daily to the transforming power and leadership of the Holy Spirit, I find a growing confidence, an assuring faith, that enriches my life with joy and my heart with love that I did not experience in former years. I may say, too, that the rays of gospel light reflected from my personal Lord are creating in my life a still deeper soul hunger that I know nothing but His divine grace and power can supply.
I am made most happy in the revealed truth and blessed fact that it is by and through the obedience and perfect life of the Son of God that I, His child, through faith, am accounted righteous. With true soul hunger after Christ, there comes a purifying of the heart and enriching of the spiritual life that not only meets the need each day, but eventually fits the believer through the merits of Christ to enter into the eternal joys of heaven.
A General Conference and Field Secretary