The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
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
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
January 30, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Four.
                       The Plan of Salvation.
                                                                -
 
                           By Mrs. E. G. White.
                                                                -

     Sorrow filled , as it was realized that man was lost, and the world which had was to be filled with doomed to misery, , and , and there was no way of escape for the offender; the whole family of must . The heart of the was touched with pity for the . Upon his lovely countenance rested an expression of and . Soon he approached the exceeding bright which enshrouded , and he seemed to engage in close converse with him. The anxiety of the was intense while thus communed with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the cloud of ; the third time he came forth his countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the that a way of escape had been made for . He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon; that through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, man could again have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. He told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, that he would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive him as the Son of God He would leave all his glory in Heaven, appear upon earth as a man, become acquainted by his own experience with the various temptations with which man would be beset; and, finally, after his mission as a teacher should be accomplished, he would be delivered into the hands of men, and after enduring almost every cruelty and suffering, that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict, he would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner. And not merely would he suffer bodily pain, but mental agony. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be upon him. He told them also that after his death he would rise again the third day, and ascend to his Father to intercede for wayward, guilty man.

The angels prostrated themselves before their beloved Commander, and offered to give their lives. Jesus told them the transgression was so great that the life of an angel could not pay the debt; his life alone could be accepted by his Father as a ransom for man. But the work of the angels was assigned them, to descend with strengthening balm from glory to soothe the Son of God in his sufferings, and to minister unto him. Also, their work would be to guard the subjects of grace from the evil angels, and the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.

With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels, and informed them that hereafter those whom he should redeem would be with him, and ever dwell with him; and that by his death he should ransom many, and finally destroy him who had the power of death. And his Father would give him the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and he should possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners should be destroyed, never more to disturb Heaven, or those who should inherit the new earth. Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that his Father had accepted, and rejoice that fallen man could be exalted again, through his death, to obtain favor with God and enjoy Heaven.

Then joy inexpressible filled Heaven, and the heavenly host sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to redeem the fallen race. 

The Father did not yield up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle, whether to let guilty man perish or to give his Son to die for the lost race. It was impossible for God to change his law, or give up the smallest part of its claims, in order to save man; therefore he suffered his Son to die for man’s transgression.

When the plan of salvation was revealed, Satan rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man’s fall, pull down the Son of God from his exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower him, and hinder the accomplishment of the plan.

In humility and inexpressible sadness, Adam and Eve left the lovely garden wherein they had been so happy until they disobeyed the command of God. The atmosphere was changed. It was no longer unvarying as before the transgression. God clothed them with coats of skins to protect them from the sense of chilliness and then of heat to which they were exposed.

Angels of God were commissioned to visit the fallen pair and inform them that, although they could no longer retain possession of their holy estate, their Eden home, because of their transgression of the law of God, their case was not altogether hopeless. The Son of God had been moved with pity as he viewed their hopeless condition, and had volunteered to take upon himself the punishment due to them, and die for them that they might yet live, through faith in the atonement which Christ proposed to make. A door of hope was opened, that man, notwithstanding his great sin, might not be under the absolute control of Satan. Probation would be granted him in which, through a life of repentance, and faith in the atonement of the Son of God, he might be redeemed from his transgression of the Father’s law, and thus be elevated to a position where his efforts to keep that law could be accepted.

The angels related to them the grief that was felt in Heaven, as it was announced that they had transgressed the law of God, which had made it expedient for Christ to make the great sacrifice of his own precious life.

When Adam and Eve realized how exalted and sacred was the law of God, the transgression of which made so costly a sacrifice necessary to save them from utter ruin, they pleaded that they and their posterity might endure the penalty of their transgression, rather than that the beloved Son of God should make this great sacrifice. The anguish of Adam was increased. He saw that his sins were of so great magnitude as to involve fearful consequences. And must it be that Heaven’s honored Commander, who had walked with him and talked with him while in his holy innocence, whom angels worshiped, must be brought down from his exalted position to die because of man’s transgression.

Adam was informed that an angel’s life could not pay the debt. The law of Jehovah, the foundation of his government in Heaven and upon earth, was as sacred as its divine Author; and for this reason the life of an angel could not be accepted of God as a sacrifice for its transgression. His law was of more importance in his sight than the holy angels around his throne. The Father could not change nor abolish one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition. But the Son of God, who had in unison with the Father created man, could make an atonement for man acceptable to God, by giving his life a sacrifice, and bearing the wrath of his Father. As Adam’s transgression had brought death and wretchedness upon the race, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice of such infinite value as to make a man who should avail himself of it more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden, to the flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth. His love for Adam and his posterity would lead the Son of God to condescend to take human nature, and thus elevate, through his own humiliation, all who would believe on him. Such a sacrifice was of sufficient value to save the whole world; but only a few would avail themselves of the salvation thus brought to them. 

The many would not comply with the conditions. They would prefer sin, transgression of the law of God, rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith upon the merit of the sacrifice offered.

Adam was carried down through successive generations, and shown the increase of crime, of guilt and defilement, because man would yield to his naturally strong inclinations to transgress the holy law of God. He saw the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He saw that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy. Adam was made to comprehend what sin is–the transgression of the law. He was shown that moral, mental, and physical degeneracy would result to the race, from transgression, until the world would be filled with human misery of every type.

The days of man have been shortened by his own course of sin in transgressing the righteous law of God. The race has so greatly depreciated as to become almost worthless. Because of the indulgence of the carnal mind, they are generally incapable of appreciating the mystery of Calvary, the grand and elevated facts of the atonement and the plan of salvation. Yet, notwithstanding the weakness, and enfeebled mental, moral, and physical powers to the human race, Christ, true to the purpose for which he left Heaven, continues his interest in the feeble, depreciated, degenerate specimens of humanity, and invites them to hide their weakness and great deficiencies in him. If they will come unto him, he will supply all their needs.

When Adam, according to God’s special directions, made as offering for sin, it was to him a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which God alone could give. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked upon the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die man’s sacrifice.

This ceremonial offering, ordained of God, was to be to Adam a perpetual reminder of his guilt, and also a penitential acknowledgment of his sin. This act of taking life gave him a deeper and more perfect sense of his transgression, which nothing less than the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. Adam marveled at the infinite goodness and matchless love which would give such a ransom to save the guilty. As he was slaying the innocent victim, it seemed to him that he was shedding the blood of the Son of God by his own hand. He knew that if he had remained steadfast to God, and true to his holy law, there would have been no death of beast nor of man. Yet in the sacrificial offerings, pointing to the great and perfect offering of God’s dear Son, there appeared a star of hope to illuminate the dark and terrible future, and relieve it of its utter hopelessness and ruin.

In the beginning, the head of each family was considered ruler and priest of his own household. Afterward, as the race multiplied upon the earth, men of divine appointment performed this solemn worship of sacrifice for the people. The blood of beasts was to be associated in the minds of sinners with the blood of the Son of God. The death of the victim was to evidence to all that the penalty of sin was death. By the act of sacrifice, the sinner acknowledged his guilt, and manifested his faith, looking forward to the great and perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, which the offering of beasts prefigured. Without the atonement of the Son of God there could have been no communication of blessing or salvation from God to man. God was jealous for the honor of his law. The transgression of that law had caused a fearful separation between God and man. To Adam in his innocence was granted communion, direct, free, and happy, with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to man only through Christ and angels.

Jenny @ 8:51 am
January 23, 1879 The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Three–Concluded.

            The Fall of                                                                 -
 
                             By Mrs. E. G. White.
                                                                -

quite well understood that his companion had transgressed the only prohibition laid upon them as a test of their fidelity and love. reasoned that the said they should not surely , and his words must be , for she felt no signs of God’s displeasure, but a pleasant influence, as she imagined the felt. Adam regretted that Eve had left his side; but now the deed was done. He must be separated from her whose society he had loved so well. How could he have it thus? His love for Eve was strong, and in utter he resolved to share her fate. He reasoned that Eve was a part of himself; and if she must die, he would die with her; for he could not bear the thought of separation from her. He did not think that God, who had him a living, beautiful form out of the dust of the ground, and had given him Eve to be his , could supply her place. After all, might not the words of this wise be correct? Eve was before him, just as lovely and beautiful, and apparently as innocent, as before this act of . She expressed greater, higher love for him than before her disobedience, as the effect of the she had eaten. He saw in her no signs of . She had told him of the happy influence of the fruit, of her ardent love for him, and he decided to brave the consequences. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it, and, like Eve, felt not immediately its ill effects.

Eve had thought herself capable of deciding between right and wrong. The flattering hope of entering a higher state of had led her to think that the serpent was her especial friend, possessing a great interest in her welfare. If she had sought her husband, and they had related to their Maker the words of the serpent, they would have been delivered at once from his artful temptation.

God instructed our first parents in regard to the tree of knowledge, and they were fully informed relative to the fall of Satan, and the danger of listening to his suggestions. God did not deprive them of the power of eating the forbidden fruit. He left them as free moral agents to believe his word, obey his commandments and live, or believe the tempter, disobey and perish. They both ate, and the great wisdom they obtained was the knowledge of sin, and a sense of guilt. The Lord would not have them investigate the fruit of the tree of knowledge, for then they would be exposed to Satan masked. He knew that they would be perfectly safe if they touched not the fruit.

Our first parents chose to believe the words, as they thought, of a serpent; yet he had given them no tokens of his love. He had done nothing for their happiness and benefit; while God had given them everything that was good for food, and pleasant to the sight. Everywhere the eye might rest was abundance and beauty; yet Eve was deceived by the serpent, to think that there was something withheld which would make them wise, even as God. Instead of believing and confiding in their Creator, she basely distrusted his goodness, and cherished the words of Satan.

After Adam’s transgression he at first imagined himself rising to a new and higher existence. But soon the thought of his transgression terrified him. The air, that had been of a mild and even temperature, seemed to chill the guilty pair. They had a sense of sin, and felt a dread of the future, a sense of want, a nakedness of soul. The sweet love and peace seemed removed from them, and in their place a want of something came over them that they had never experienced before. They then for the first turned their attention to the external. They had not been clothed, but were draped in light as were the heavenly angels. This light which had enshrouded them departed. To relieve the sense of nakedness which they realized, their attention was directed to seek a covering for their forms; for how could they meet the eye of God and angels unclothed.

Their crime is now before them in its true light. Their transgression of God’s express command assumes a clearer character. Adam censured Eve’s folly in leaving his side, and being deceived by the serpent; but they both flattered themselves that God, who had given them everything to make them happy, might yet excuse their disobedience, because of his great love to them, and that their punishment would not be so dreadful after all.

Satan exulted in his success. He had tempted the woman to distrust God, to question his wisdom, and to seek to penetrate his all-wise plans. And through her he had also caused the overthrow of Adam, who, in consequence of his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her.

The news of man’s fall spread through Heaven–every harp was hushed. The angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. All Heaven was in agitation. The angels were grieved at the base ingratitude of man, in return for the rich blessings which God had bestowed upon him. A council was held to see what must be done with the guilty pair. The angels feared that they would put forth the hand, and eat of the tree of life, and thus perpetuate a life of sin.

The Lord visited Adam and Eve, and made known to them the consequence of their disobedience. And as they hear God’s majestic approach, they seek to hide themselves from inspection of him whom they delighted, while in their innocence and holiness, to meet. “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” This question was asked by the Lord, not because he needed information, but for the conviction of the guilty pair. Adam acknowledged his transgression, not because he was penitent for his great disobedience, but to cast reflection upon God. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” The woman was then addressed: “What is this that thou hast done?” Eve answered, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” The Lord then addressed the serpent” Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” As the serpent had been exalted above the beasts of the field, he should be degraded beneath them all, and be detested by man, inasmuch as he was the medium through which Satan acted. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground.”

God cursed the ground because of the sin of Adam and Eve in eating of the tree of knowledge, and declared, “In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” He had apportioned them the good, but withheld the evil. Now he declares that they shall eat of it, that is, they shall be acquainted with evil, all the days of their life.

The race from that time forward was to be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. A life of perpetual toil and anxiety was appointed unto Adam, instead of the happy, cheerful labor which he had hitherto enjoyed. They should be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally come to dissolution. They were made of the dust of the earth, and unto dust should they return.

Adam and Eve were informed that they must lose their Eden home. They had yielded to Satan’s deception, and believed that God would lie. By their transgression they had opened a way for Satan to gain access to them more readily, and it was not safe for them to remain in the garden of Eden, lest in their state of sin they gain access to the tree of life, and perpetuate a life of sin. They entreated to be permitted to remain, although they acknowledged that they had forfeited all right to blissful Eden. They promised that they would in the future yield implicit obedience to God. They were informed that in their fall from innocence to guilt, they had gained no strength, but great weakness. They had not preserved their integrity while they were in a state of holy, happy innocence, and they would have far less strength to remain true and loyal in a state of conscious guilt. At these words the unhappy pair were filled with keenest anguish and remorse. They now realized that the penalty of sin was death.

It was Satan’s studied plan that Adam and Eve should disobey God, receive his frown, and then partake of the tree of life, that they might perpetuate a life of sin. But holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the way to the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light on every side, which had the appearance of glittering swords.

Many regard the punishment of Adam’s transgression as too severe a penalty for so small a sin. The enemy of all righteousness has blinded the eyes of sinners, so that sin does not appear sinful. Their standard of what constitutes sin is vastly different from God’s standard. Should those who regard Adam’s sin as a matter of very small consequence look a little deeper, they would see the great mercy of God in giving Adam the smallest possible test. It could scarcely be called a self-denial on his part to refrain from partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, for he already had everything necessary to supply his wants. A compassionate God gave no severe test, no strong temptation that would tax human endurance beyond the power to resist. The fruit itself was harmless. If God had not forbidden Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, their action in taking it would not have been sinful. Up to the moment of God’s prohibition, Adam might have eaten of the fruit of that tree without realizing any harm. But after God had said, Thou shalt not eat, the act became a crime of great magnitude. Adam had disobeyed God. In this was his sin. The very fact that Adam’s trial was small, made his sin exceeding great. God tested him in that which was least, to prove him; and with the prohibition he stated that the punishment consequent upon his disobedience would be death. If Adam could not bear this smallest of tests to prove his loyalty, he surely could not have endured a stronger trial had he been taken into closer relationship with God, to bear higher responsibilities. He evidenced that God could not trust him; should he be exposed to Satan’s more determined attacks, he would signally fail.

God created man in his own image, after his likeness, free from sin, and with organs well developed. The earth was to be populated with intelligent beings who were only a little lower than the angels. But God would first prove the holy pair, and test their obedience; for he would not have a world filled with beings who would disregard his laws. Adam did the worst thing he could do under the circumstances. In doing that which God had expressly forbidden he set his will against the will of God, thus waging war with his requirements. The pen of inspiration has with accuracy traced the history of our first parents’ sin and fall, that all generations may be warned not to follow Adam’s example, in the slightest disregard of God’s requirements. Had the test been in regard to larger matters, men might have excused the sin of disobedience in what they call smaller things. But God made the test with Adam upon things that are least, to show man that the slightest disobedience to his requirements is sin in every sense of the word. God, the Governor of the universe, has made all things subject to law; things apparently insignificant, and things of the greatest magnitude, are all governed by laws adapted to their natures. Nothing that God has made has been forgotten or left to blind chance. To man, as being endowed with reasoning powers and conscience, God’s moral law is given to control his actions. Man is not compelled to obey. He may defy God’s law, as did Adam, and take the fearful consequences; or by living in harmony with that law he may reap the rewards of obedience.

Ministers of our time give from their pulpits license to sin, in saying to the sinner, that the law of God is not binding upon man, and that it is impossible for him to keep it. It was then impossible for Adam to keep God’s law, and why should the punishment of transgression have fallen upon him? The very fact that disobedience to God in one of the smallest requirements brought such woe to our world shows that any disregard of his law will surely be followed by the penalty, which is death. Ministers who make war upon the law of God, are gathering in their garments the blood of souls. They are working in harmony with the great rebel.

Jenny @ 1:16 pm