The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
February 19, 1880 The Sacrifice Demanded of Us
Filed under: EG White Articles

demands all. If he required less, the made by him was too dear, and too great to bring us up to such a level. Our cries out separation. We should not be , or to dead, heartless professors, but be by the . This is a self-denying way. But if we think it too straight; if we think that there is too much self-denial in this narrow path; or if we say, How hard to give up all, let us ask ourselves this question, What did Christ give up for me?

The infinite sacrifice he made eclipses all we call self-denial. Behold him in the garden sweating great drops of blood. Follow him on his way to the judgment hall, while he is derided, mocked and insulted by that infuriated mob. Behold him clothed in that old purple robe. Hear the coarse jest and cruel mocking, see his enemies place upon that noble head the crown of thorns, and then smite him with a reed, causing the thorns to penetrate his temples, and the blood to flow from that holy brow; hear that murderous throng eagerly crying for the blood of the Son of God; see him delivered into their hands, and led away, pale, weak, and fainting, to his crucifixion; see him stretched upon the wooden cross, and the nails driven through his tender hands and feet; behold him hanging upon the cross in agony, until the sun refuses to shine, and the angels veil their faces from the horrid scene,– then ask yourself the question, Does he require too much in asking me to give up the world and deny self? No, no.

A divided, half-hearted life causes doubt and darkness. Persons living thus do not enjoy the consolations of religion, neither the pleasures which the world gives. It is a blessed privilege to give up all for Christ. It is safe to follow him who is the only true, unerring pattern. If others act on the principle of the spiritual sluggard, we should leave them, and march forward to the elevation of Christian character. Let us not sleep at our post, but deal faithfully and truly with our own souls.

The indulgence of light reading and tales of fiction produces a false, unhealthy excitement of the mind, and unfits it for any spiritual exercise. It weans the soul from prayer, and love for spiritual things. Reading that will throw light upon the sacred volume, and increase one’s desire to study it, is not dangerous, but beneficial. The oftener and more diligently the Scriptures are read, the more beautiful will they appear, and the less relish will one have for light reading. The daily study of the Scriptures will have a sanctifying influence upon the life. Then let us bind to our hearts this precious volume which will never fail to prove a friend and guide in perplexity.

How many have fixed their hopes on earthly objects, and how earnestly and perseveringly have they labored to obtain them, yet without realizing their anticipations. But there is an object before all worthy of a life-long effort. It is the salvation of our souls–everlasting life. And this demands self-denial, sacrifice and close study. If we gain eternal life, we must live for it and deny self; come out from the world and be separate. Our life must be marked with sobriety, watchfulness, and prayer. Angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. All our words and acts are passing in review before God.

It is a fearful, solemn time. The hope of eternal life should not be cherished upon slight grounds; it should be settled between God and our own souls. Some will lean upon the judgment and experience of others, rather than be at the trouble of a close examination of their own hearts; and thus pass along for months and years without any witness of the Spirit of God, or evidence of their acceptance. Such are deceiving themselves. They suppose they have a hope, but lack the essential qualifications of a Christian.

God’s people are peculiar. Their spirit cannot mingle with the spirit and influence of the world. None desire to meet Jesus with a profession only, and thus be disappointed of eternal life. Then let us examine the grounds of our hope thoroughly, and deal truly with our own soul. Let us decide now whether we will follow Christ at any sacrifice or any cost.
                                                            Mrs. E. G. White

Jenny @ 7:09 pm
January 15, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued.)

That which leads its subjects to enclose themselves in walls, excluding themselves from their , and not doing the good they might, cannot be the . The world is no better for their living in it, because they shed no in . These live for themselves, and bring no to , for they hide away from man as though ashamed of the light which they claim to have.

The “” will not be spoken to this class. is our example. He sought for men wherever he could find them; in private houses, in the public streets, in the , or by the lake side, that he might let shine upon those who in the of , needed it so much.

The should as Christ labored. They may look to him in expecting that he will help them. We cannot trust him too much. We cannot place too high an estimate upon his and to save to the uttermost all who come unto him. who are trying to teach others the way to life are not all acquainted with the way themselves. They have not received from Jesus, the light of the world, beams of light to shine forth to others in good works. They are not willing to give up their will and their plans and be led by the divine hand, and thus connect with the Lord of light that they may not walk in darkness. Many will not deny self and lift the cross and follow where Jesus leads. He has said “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”

When the soul is illuminated by God’s Spirit, the whole character is elevated, the mental conceptions are enlarged, and the affections no longer centering upon self, shine forth in good works to others, attracting them to the beauty and brightness of Christ’s glory.

The dear Saviour loved his disciples. His own heart was grieved and wounded at the disappointment they would experience in the near future, for he knew his steps were already leading in the path to Calvary. He sought opportunities to speak with them alone, without the jealous eyes of the Pharisees upon them. He would tell them plainly in regard to the trials which they must endure for his name’s sake. Their physical and moral courage was to endure a severe test and he would prepare them for the ordeal. His lessons to them were at a time of a positive and exacting character. He could make his discourses terribly impressive. He said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” He would have them understand that unless they were guarded, outward forms and a round of ceremonies would take the place of the inner work of the grace of God upon the heart. It was not the sticklers of the law that would be justified, but the doer of the will of our Father which is in Heaven. 

He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; for what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Those teachers who ignore works and would teach that all you have to do is to believe in Christ, are rebuked by the Saviour of the world. Faith is made perfect by works. The cry will come to us from the servers of Mammon: You are too exacting; we cannot be saved by works. Was Christ exacting? He placed the salvation of man, not upon his believing, not upon his profession, but upon his faith made perfect by his works. Doing, and not saying merely, was required of the followers of Christ. Principle is always exacting. Our country claims of fathers and mothers, their sons, the brothers, the husbands, to be given up, to leave their homes for the field of carnage and bloodshed. They must go and face peril, endure privation and hunger, weariness and loneliness; they must make long marches, footsore and weary, through heat of summer and through winter’s cold; they run the risk of life. They are compelled to follow the commander. Sometimes they are not even allowed time to eat. And all this severe experience is in consequence of sin. There is an enemy to meet, an enemy to be resisted; enemies of our country will destroy her peace and bring disaster and ruin, unless driven back and repulsed. Conquer or die is the motto.

Thus it is with the Christian warfare. We have an enemy which we must meet, who is vigilant; who is not off his guard one moment. The claims of our country are not higher than the claims of God. If hardships are borne and trials endured by our soldiers fighting in behalf of the country to obtain the mastery and bring into obedience the rebellious, how much more willing should the soldiers of Christ endure privation, self denial, and any taxation for Christ’s sake. The captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering that he might bring many sons and daughters to the Lord. We are standing under the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ. We are to meet Satan and his host. We must conquer in the name of Jesus or be conquered. Armed with the mind of Christ we shall be more than overcomers. As faithful soldiers of the cross we are not to fight against principalities and powers, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. There is no rest in this war, no release. Obedience and faith must characterize us as Christ’s servants. Our Redeemer unfolded before his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the chief priests and elders, and be killed and be raised again from the dead the third day. He was already standing under the shadow of the cross. He fully comprehended the great work he came to do, and he would have his disciples understand the greatness of this work, and the responsibilities which would rest upon them in the performance of their duty in carrying forward his work when he should leave them. The grandeur and glory of the future life is in the thoughts and feelings which exercise the minds of the disciples while they are listening to the words spoken by the great Teacher. If ministers of Christ, who attempt to teach the truth to others, would look constantly to Jesus as to a tried friend, believing in him that he will relieve their necessities and that they will have his sympathy and support, they would find the blessedness and joy that can come only from the Light of the world.

This light, shining upon man, quickens the paralyzed capacities, kindles to a flame the spiritual life. It is the work of Christ to enlighten, to lift up man, darkened and degraded, because the slave of sin, and make him a fit companion of the holy angels in the highest Heavens. He calls men to carry forward his work, not by the words of eloquence and oratory alone, but in letting their light shine forth to others in good works. The love which was exhibited by Christ for fallen man, is the golden chain which binds the believing heart in union with the heart of Christ. Christians connected with him, answer to his claims of willing service to love and labor for the souls for whom he died.

Prayer, earnest, humble prayer, offered in faith amid the hours of darkness and gloom, brings light from Heaven to the soul. Peace comes to every heart for every prayer offered in faith. The soul is lifted above the clouds of darkness and error, conflicts and passion. Light, precious light, flashes from the throne of God, and is fitting up feeble man to become God’s messengers in shedding light to the world. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy and love exhibited, are the lights which shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness which comes of selfishness and unrestrained passion of the natural heart, into which the light of life has never shone.

At each large gathering of the people, the disciples of Christ anticipated that the time had come for him to commence his reign as Prince upon the throne of David.

As they witnessed his power from day to day in works no other man had ever done or ever could do, they kept hope active in their hearts that he would one day surprise them with an open avowal of his kingly authority. They did not fully renounce the idea that his earthly kingdom would be established, the Roman yoke be broken from their necks, and they enjoy with him great honor and glory. This sermon upon the mount disappointed their expectations of earthly glory. Upon this occasion Christ more clearly revealed the character of his kingdom and the principles which should govern it given in the beatitudes. Matt. 5. In this discourse was embodied the principles of the moral law, laying down at once the whole sum and substance of the plan of true religion in specifying the kind of characters which would be essential for the subjects of his kingdom.

He that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God, while many who have a form of godliness and not the power, may be content to speak the truth in a spirit of contention, engaging in controversy, talking long and loud in a bitter spirit. Such reflect no light, while the servant of God who has kindled his taper from the divine altar and is obeying the truth, is a living, walking, working representative of the power of the truth upon the heart. He is a living epistle known and read of all men. Such a life is the light of the world; of such Jesus is not ashamed to call them brethren. He will say of them as of Nathanael “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” 

Those who obey the commandments of God are here represented by Christ as the fit subjects of his kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, who feel that all their hopes of Heaven and happiness depend wholly upon the merit of Christ, that there is no merit or worthiness in them. Happy are they that mourn their own unlikeness to Christ, mourn their own sinfulness and grieve over the sins of their neighbors.

These are represented by the prophet of God as the sighing and crying ones because of the abominations done in the land. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful and the pure in heart, and happy are the peace-makers. Blessed are they who shall suffer persecution, because they cherish and exemplify in their life these heavenly attributes, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus prayed! The majesty of Heaven prayed! He wept in behalf of man. Prayer, faithful, earnest prayer will move the arm that moves the world. The minister of Christ must pray if he would have the refreshing from the presence of God. The church must pray much if they would walk in the light, as he is in the light.                                    Mrs. E. G. White

Jenny @ 7:21 pm
January 8, 1880 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World
Filed under: EG White Articles

(Continued from Vol. 5, No. 47.)

In the work of , when the of the first day broke, and the and , by the call of , came out of ; responsive to the rising light, “the sang together, and all the shouted for .” In the , gilding the of with its bright beams, saw the symbol of the light to be proclaimed in the earth by his , dispelling by its bright beams, , , and , and ushering in and , bringing back to those who have been to the . taught that all true and of , all and in the soul, must come through perfect and entire to his , which is the highest . The connected with their , which they were to put to a practical use, were given to the disciples upon this occasion. They were to carry the to the .

The , the “,” was imparting his beams of light to his disciples, and illuminating their minds, sweeping away their traditions and man-made requirements, and enforcing the real principles of God’s law upon them. He taught them lessons which they should put to a practical use in order to be the lights of the world. He taught them that they should exhibit in their character the graces of his Spirit which he pronounced blessed. The acceptance of the light he urged upon his hearers, as essential for their restoration to spiritual life. And for them to have a sound, healthful, happy experience, they must exercise the best and noblest faculties of the soul. He would have them understand that if they would make their lives pleasant, and useful to others, they must be obedient to the requirements of God. He always directs safely, and we shall not go astray while following where he leads. Said Christ, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Christ represents the disciples who have the attributes which characterize them as children of God, as the light of the world. Without these attributes they cannot be the light of the world, and they would not correctly represent Christ who is the Light of the world. As the sun goes forth in the heavens on its errand of mercy and love, and as the golden beams of day flood the canopy of the heavens and beautify forests and mountains, and awaken the world from their slumbers by dispelling the darkness of night, so should his followers go forth on their mission. They should gather the divine rays of light from the Light of the world, and let it shine forth in good works upon those who are in the darkness of error. Through the ministration of his ordained servants he carries forward his work through all time.

The message of light given to the assembled multitude on the mount was not alone for them, but was to be sounded in the ears of the church all along the line, through successive generations, resting with more solemn weight upon Christ’s ambassadors in the last days. Sinners are to be turned from the darkness of error to the light of truth, by the foolishness of preaching. He who accepts the light is to claim no authority himself; but as God’s messenger, with light reflected to him from the Source of light, he may claim the highest authority.

God might write the messages of truth upon the firmament of the heavens as easily as he placed the stars in their position. He might proclaim the truth and let it shine to the world through angel visitors, but this is not the way he ordained. He delegated power to his disciples to carry the light which he would communicate to them, to all parts of the world. Through his ambassadors God graciously infuses light to the understanding and warmth to the souls of those who acknowledge the message he sends, bearing light to those in darkness.

Paul writes to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” The ambassador must be obedient and faithful in the performance of his work as an instrument of God in the salvation of others. He cannot be saved himself if he is an unfaithful servant. He must be the light of the world. He must erect the standard of Christ in families, in villages, and cities, and in the hearts of men.

God does not select angels who have never fallen, but fallen man who has felt the redeeming power of the grace of Christ sanctifying his own life, and the bright beams of truth warming his own heart. As they have been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of others, and the way to reach others in like peril.

Said Paul, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” This is the reason why angels were not chosen to preach the truth. The gospel was committed to weak and erring men that God might have all the glory. The supremacy of God is to be discerned in the frail instrument chosen to proclaim the message of truth.

Our Saviour often spent all night in prayer to his Father, coming forth with the rising sun to shed his beams of light upon the world. With his heart all full of sympathy for the poor, the ignorant and afflicted, he labored that he might elevate fallen man, and dispel the moral darkness by the light reflected from himself.
                                                            E. G. White.
                            (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 7:11 pm
December 11, 1879 Christ’s Followers the Light of the World.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
-

So far as was concerned, was as though alone in our world. His nearest friends and relatives did not understand him. They could not understand the nature of of which he spoke, nor comprehend the vastness of that which embraced .

His extended, not only to this world, but to the , . He had lived in in the , and was one with , but in which he had , he was in solitude.

Fallen men, in one sense, could not be for , for they could not enter into with his , and hold with the . When woe, and want, and suffering demanded his help, they found relief; for ever touched a responsive chord in the Saviour’s heart. His work was to elevate men through his , through his lessons of instruction, and by means of his example, lifting them heavenward by the might of his . But companions he had none upon earth. He was fully understood in Heaven alone.

After the toils of the day the Redeemer of the world was frequently found all night in prayer. Crowds throng him through the day so that he has not a moment for rest or prayer. The fame of his work and of his wonderful teachings brought vast multitudes from all the region round about, not only to listen to his life-giving words, but to receive power from him that they might be healed of their maladies. All are eager to receive his first attention.

Some ply him with questions to gratify their curiosity, some to show their aptness and learning; and the jealous, caviling Pharisees watch to find some pretext to denounce him as an impostor. Some selfishly think that they may be advantaged by his great knowledge, and receive help in their personal difficulties, while others, hungering and thirsting for clearer light, and a better knowledge of the true way, humbly listen as for their lives, drinking in every word that falls from the Master’s lips.

The restless throng sways to and fro, as some are continually coming and striving to press nearer, while others are passing away with greater zeal in their own worldly interests than in the words of eternal life.

The suffering ones call for his sympathy, the feeble, the distorted, the decrepit, the blind, and the palsied, all turn imploringly to him, and faint voices plead earnestly for help. The crowd is so dense it seems impossible to urge a passage to Christ, and hope almost dies out of some hearts. They fear their chance will come too late, for they feel that life is fast ebbing. Can they reach the mighty Healer through the dense masses before it is too late?

But not one passes from his presence unrelieved. He repulses none, but speaks kindly and patiently with all, and in clear, calm, earnest tones he utters the truths that search to the very souls of his hearers. He is often interrupted with the cry of the demoniac, and the suffering and dying ones are urged through the crowd and laid at his feet.

His disciples see the pressure of care and burdens upon the Master, and decide that they must interfere and draw him away from the crowd. They invite him to find rest from his physical weariness before he shall faint with exhaustion. But Jesus continues his work notwithstanding the urgency of his disciples to draw him away for refreshment and rest. They say one to another, He must be beside himself to continue this taxing labor longer. They think that force will have to be used to save his life. He has not had sleep, or food, or a moment’s repose. He makes his way toward the sea-shore, and the surging crowd urge him to the very water’s edge. He beckons to Peter to receive him in his boat, and there upon the swaying seat of a fisherman’s boat he teaches his disciples upon the shore.

When the sun was set, and the night came on, and the people had dispersed to their homes, the disciples felt relieved. They felt sure that the Master would rest in some quiet home, and they would have him a little period all to themselves; but they were disappointed. Weary, exhausted, and faint as he was, he would not consent to go with them to seek refreshment or repose. He dismissed his disciples, and would not allow them to accompany him, but repaired to the solitary mountains, telling them where they may meet him in the morning.

All night he must be alone in the mountain sanctuary with his God. All night he spent in prayer, pouring out his soul with strong crying and tears, not because he had sins to confess, or to bring remorse to his heart, not because he had troubles of his own to be relieved. A world in the darkness of error is weighing upon his soul, and while it sleeps in security he prays that it may not perish in its sin and impenitence. Thus passed the night, and when nature’s choristers tuned their songs of praise in the early morning, Christ was prepared for the day of active, earnest work.

The day after the scene at Capernaum was to be one of great importance. The memorable sermon upon the mount was to be given to his disciples, and so come down through the ages to us. The day before he had not place sufficiently large to accommodate the people, and had taken his seat in Peter’s boat to address the people on the shore. This day he led the people to the high table-land overlooking the lake, where the tall grass was waving in the breeze, and wild flowers bloomed in rich profusion of beauty and variety at their feet, and nature was clothed in her most beautiful garments. Yonder were sharp mountain peaks outlined against the sky, bearing testimony to the majesty and power of God in his created works.

Christ seated himself upon an eminence, while the people gathered on the large grassy plain at its foot. The place was well chosen for the discourse. The sun had not yet appeared above the mountains; the incense of flowers perfumed the air, and the singing birds seemed to attune their songs responsive to the words uttered by the God of nature to impress souls with the truths falling from his divine lips.

The contrast of this morning’s scene with that of Sinai was marked. Then the millions of people gathered before the mountain whose lofty peaks seemed to reach to the very heavens. The lightnings flashed, and the groaning, muttering thunders, like supernatural voices filled the air, and God’s voice was heard in trumpet-like tones by all the congregation. Moses was commanded to come up and talk with God. He obeyed the mandate, and climbed far up the solitary heights, and God talked with him. On the morning of the third day a thick cloud began to cover the mountain, increasing in denseness every moment, while its billowy form surged violently. The earth shook and trembled as if convulsed, and the thunder peals were caught up in reverberations from peak to peak, far and near. The stately tread of the Lord Jehovah and of his Son was upon that mountain. At intervals, between the bursts of the thunder were sounds as of a trumpet swelling louder and louder till it rose above the war of the elements.

The people stood terror-stricken, every face pale as the dead, with eyes fixed in awe upon the fearful manifestations of the awful presence of God. Then was spoken amid flame and smoke the law of God. The people about the mount receded from its base in awe and fear. Their souls were overwhelmed with the grandeur and terrible majesty of the scene. They saw the two men go up amid the awful glory to receive the law from the lips of God. When Moses and Aaron again stood in their midst, the people implored them that the word of God might come to them through Moses, and not by the direct and terrible voice of God, lest they could not live.

“Fear not,” said Moses, “for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” All the majesty of this scene was necessary to impress its solemnity upon the minds of the children of Israel, whose lives had been spent among the symbols and ceremonies of the Egyptian worship.

Christ, who had led the children of Israel in the wilderness, who revealed his majesty and spoke the law from Sinai, was now to define the principles of that law, which was to be carried out and exemplified in practical life. The multitude close about the great Teacher, interested and eager to catch every word that fall from his lips. Yet there are no grand and awful demonstrations on this occasion, as at Sinai. The beauties of nature in the luxuriant vegetation and adornment of flowers speak to the senses of the love of God in his created works.

There was no eloquence of words used in the lessons of Christ, no overdrawn language hiding the simple grandeur of the thought, nothing to bewilder the mind or mislead the imagination. The language was simple, the utterance slow and forcible, and the enunciation clear and distinct. God was speaking to the soul of man in kindness and love. The countenance of Christ beamed with the glory of heaven’s light. His eyes expressed love and sympathy for man. Divinity flashed through humanity as the deep and earnest words of eternal life were spoken to the interested hearers.

The sun was climbing above the mountain tops, reflecting its bright beams upon the hills and mountains, distinctly revealing the cities upon their slopes.

He pointed to the bright beams of the sun, saying impressively, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. . . . Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
                           (To be continued).

Jenny @ 6:53 pm