It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in his own authority. Acts 1:7.
[The disciples could not know the time of the second coming of Christ.] There was one thing that they might understand, and that was that they were to receive power after that the Holy Ghost should come upon them, and that they were to be witnesses of Christ. All this itching curiosity to know the set time is rebuked. This has not been given to us to know, and we are not to feel anxious about these things which the Lord has never committed to us but has kept in His own possession, unrevealed. But the endowment of His Spirit is for us; this we may confidently expect and freely receive; for we can do nothing for the salvation of souls without this heavenly agency. Because of the shortness of human life, every event should be made an occasion for enriching souls with the truths of the gospel.
As time is fast closing, we should keep before the mind the spirituality of the law and the utter worthlessness of a formal, ceremonial obedience to the commandments involved in a legal religion. The eternal principles of truth should be extolled. The holy and paternal character of God should be presented to all. Our obligation in our daily actions should be laid bare, that we may understand our relation to God and to each other; for we are to watch for souls as they who must give an account. We must present to the people not the imaginations of men, not their schemes and conclusions, but the grace of God in the gift of His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We are to lift up Jesus, that He may draw men and women unto Himself….
How hard for them to realize the necessity of constant prayer, of sincere repentance, of attaining to more and more perfection of character, which is the salt of Christian experience and the evidence of the operation of the Holy Spirit on the heart. The Holy Spirit is to enlighten, renew, and sanctify the soul….
Let all now do their duty, laboring actively with Jesus Christ. Represent Jesus by your example of Christian piety, that the grace of Christ may appear as it is—beautiful, attractive, harmonious, and always consistent. A life beautified with holiness is not a life of idle contemplation, but a life filled up with earnest work for the Master, whose light shineth more and more unto the perfect day.—Conference Bulletin, fourth quarter 1896, pp. 764, 765.