The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
September 18, 1879 Christian Temperance.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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“Know ye not that your is the of the which is in you, which ye have of , and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price; therefore God in your body, and in your , which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6, 19, 20.

We are not our own. We do not belong to ourselves. But we have been purchased with a dear price. We have cost an immense sum, even the and of the . If we can understand this, and fully realize it, then shall we feel great responsibility resting upon us to keep ourselves in the very best condition of , that we may render to God perfect .

But when we take any course which decreases our , expends our , beclouds the , and destroys the powers of the mind, we against God. In pursuing this course we are not him in our bodies and spirits which are his; but are committing a great wrong in his sight.

Has Jesus given himself for us? Has this dear price been paid to redeem us? And is it so, that we are not our own? Is it true that all the powers of our being our bodies, our spirits, all that we have, and all we are, belong to God? Is this so? It certainly is. And when we realize this, what obligation does it lay us under to God to preserve ourselves in that condition that we may honor him upon the earth in our bodies and in our spirits which are the Lord’s.

We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us. It is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are preparing for the Judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who is to appear in the clouds of heaven with the holy retinue of angels, to escort Him on his way, to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When he comes he is not to cleanse us of our sins. He is not then to remove from us the defects in our characters. He will not then cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. He will not do this work then. Before that time this work will all be accomplished, if wrought for us at all. Then those who are holy will be holy still. They are not to be made holy when the Lord comes. Those who have preserved their bodies, and their spirits, in holiness, and in sanctification, and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. And when he comes, those who are unjust, and unsanctified, and filthy, will remain so forever. There is then no work to be done for them which shall remove their defects, and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue his refining process, and remove their sins, and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.

We embrace the truth of God with our different organizations, and as we come under the influence of truth, it will accomplish the work for us which is necessary to be accomplished, and give us a moral fitness for the kingdom of glory, and for the society of the heavenly angels. We are now in God’s work-shop. We are, many of us rough stone from the quarry. As we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence must affect us. It must elevate us. It must remove from us every imperfection. It must remove from us sins of whatever nature. And it must fit us, that we may be prepared to see the king in his beauty, and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. This work is to be accomplished for us here. Here we are, with these bodies and spirits, which are to be fitted for immortality.

We are in a world that is in opposition to righteousness, holiness, a growth in grace, and to purity of character. Everywhere we look we see deformity and sin. We see corruption. We see defilement on every hand. And what is the work that we are to undertake here just previous to immortality? It is to preserve our bodies holy, our spirits pure, that we may stand forth unstained amid the corruptions teeming around us in these last days. And if this work is to be performed for us, we need to engage in it heartily, and engage in it at once. We want to take hold of the work now. We want to understand it just as it is. Selfishness should not come in here to control us. We want the Spirit of God to have perfect control of us. It should influence us in all our actions. And if we have a right hold on Heaven, a right hold of the power that is from above, we shall feel the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God upon our hearts.

When we have tried to present to the people the health reform, and have spoken of the importance of their eating, and drinking, and in all that they do, to do it to the glory of God, many, by their actions, have said, “It is nobody’s business whether I eat this or that. Whatever we do we are to bear the consequences ourselves.” Dear friends, you are greatly mistaken. You are not the only sufferers from a wrong course. The society you are in bears the consequences of your wrongs, in a great degree, as well as yourselves. If you are suffering from your intemperance in eating or in drinking, we that are around you, or associated with you, are affected by your infirmities. We have to suffer on account of the course you pursue, which is wrong. If it has an influence to lessen your powers of mind or body, we are affected by it. We have to feel it. When in your society, instead of your having a buoyancy of spirit, you are gloomy, and cast a shadow upon the spirits of all around you. If we are sad, and depressed, and in trouble, you could, if in right conditions of health, have a clear brain to show us the way out, and speak a comforting word to us. If your brain is so benumbed by your wrong course of living that you cannot give us the right counsel, do we not meet with a loss? Does not your influence seriously affect us? We may have a good degree of confidence in our own judgment, yet we want to have counsellors; for in many counsellors there is safety. We desire that our course should look consistent and proper to those we love, and we wish to seek their counsel, and have them able to give it with a clear brain. But what care we for your judgment, if your brain nerve power has been taxed to the utmost to take care of improper food, or an enormous quantity of even healthful food’ placed in your stomachs, and the vitality withdrawn from the brain? What care we for the judgment of such persons? They see through a mass of undigested food. Therefore your course of living affects us. It is impossible for you to pursue any wrong course without others suffering beside yourself.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the price? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” In running the race, in order to obtain that laurel which was considered a special honor, those who engaged in running were temperate in all things. They where temperate, that their muscles, and their brains, and every part of them, should be in the very best condition to run. If they were not temperate, they would not have that elasticity that they would have if they were temperate in all things. If temperate, they could run that race successfully. They were more sure of receiving the crown. But notwithstanding all their efforts in the direction of temperance, and to subject themselves to a careful diet, in order to be in the best condition, yet they only ran at a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them, and take the prize. One only received the prize. But we can all run in the heavenly race, and all receive the prize. It is not an uncertainty. It is not to run at a risk. We must put on the heavenly graces, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keeping the Pattern ever before us. He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. The self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. His life of poverty, humbleness, and self-denial, we must not forget. And then as we seek to imitate him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can we shall certainly secure the prize. Men ran to obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day. All this self-denial practiced by those who ran these races was to obtain a corruptible crown, which was only a token of honor from mortals here.

But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. “We,” says the apostle, “an incorruptible.” And if they could be temperate in all things, who engaged in this race here upon earth for a temporal crown, cannot we be temperate in all things, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God? When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we run, with patience, this race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith? He has pointed out the way for us. He has marked it for us by his own footsteps all the way along. It is the path that he traveled. You may, with Christ, experience the self-denial, and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by his own blood.

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” There is work to do here, for every man, woman, and child. Satan is constantly at work, that he may have control of your bodies and spirits. But Christ has bought you, and you are his property. And now it is for you to work in union with Christ, in union with the holy angels that minister unto you. It is for you to keep the body under, and bring it into subjection. Unless you do this, you will certainly lose everlasting life, and the crown of immortality.

And yet some will say, “What business is it to anybody what I eat? or what I drink?” I have shown you what relation your course has to others. You have seen that it has much to do with the influence you exert in your families. It has to do with your manner of acting. It has much to do with moulding the characters of your children.

As I said before, it is a corrupted age in which we live. It is a time when Satan seems to have almost complete control of minds that are not fully consecrated to God. Therefore there is a very great responsibility resting upon parents and guardians who have children to bring up. Parents have taken the responsibility of bringing these children into existence. And what now is their duty? Is it to let them come up just as they may? and just as they will? Let me tell you, a weight of responsibility rests upon these parents. Whether you eat, or whether you drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Do you do this when you are preparing food for the table, and when you place it upon your tables, and call your family to partake of it? Are you placing only the food before these children that you know will make the very best blood? Is it that food that will preserve their systems in the least feverish condition? Is it that which will place them in the very best relation to life and health? Is this the food that you are studying to place before your children? Or are you careless and reckless of their future good? and provide for them unhealthful, stimulating, irritating food? Let me tell you that the children from their very birth are born to evil. Satan seems to have control of them. He seems to take possession of their young minds, and they are corrupted. Why do fathers and mothers act as though a lethargy was upon them? They do not mistrust that Satan is sowing evil seed in their families. They are as blind, and careless, and reckless, in regard to these things as it is possible for them to be. Why do they not awake, and study these things? Why are they not reading up? Says the apostle, “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience,” etc. Here is work resting upon every one who professes to follow Jesus Christ.–From Report of an Address.

Jenny @ 6:08 pm
August 28, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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(Concluded.)

felt much as will feel when the vials of shall be poured out upon them. Black like a pall of will gather about their guilty , and then they will realize to the fullest extent the of . has been purchased for them by the and of the . It might be theirs if they would accept of it willingly, gladly; but none are compelled to yield to the . If they refuse the benefit, if they choose the and of , they can have their choice, and at the end receive their wages, which is the and . They will be , separated from the presence of , whose they had despised. They will have lost a life of , and sacrificed , for the for a season.

and trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ, because had removed the assurance he had heretofore given his beloved Son of his approbation and acceptance. The of the world then relied upon the evidences which had hitherto strengthened him, that his Father accepted his labors and was pleased with his work. In his dying agony, as he yields up his precious life, he has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been his joy to obey. He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand nor on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom. Amid the awful darkness which is felt even by sympathizing nature, the Redeemer drains the mysterious cup to its dregs. Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be his in the near future, he cries with a loud voice, “Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” He is acquainted with the character of his Father, his justice, his mercy, and great love. In submission he drops into the hands of his Father. Amid the convulsions of nature are heard by the amazed spectators the dying words of the Man of Calvary, “It is finished.”

Nature sympathized with the sufferings of its Author. The heaving earth, the rent rocks, and the terrific darkness, proclaimed that it was the Son of God that died. There was a mighty earthquake. The vail of the temple was rent in twain. Terror seized the executioners and spectators as they beheld the sun veiled in darkness, and felt the earth shake beneath them, and saw and heard the rending of the rocks. The mocking and jeering of the chief priests and elders was hushed as Christ commended his spirit into the hands of his Father. The astonished throng began to withdraw, and grope their way in the darkness to the city. They smote upon their breasts as they went, and in terror, speaking scarcely above a whisper, said among themselves, “It is an innocent person that has been murdered. What if, indeed, he is, as he asserted, the Son of God?”

Jesus did not yield up his life till he had accomplished the work which he came to do, and exclaimed with his departing breath, “It is finished!” Satan was then defeated. He knew that his kingdom was lost. Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered, “It is finished.” The great plan of redemption, which was dependent on the death of Christ, had thus far been carried out. And there was joy in Heaven that the sons of Adam could, through a life of obedience, be finally exalted to the throne of God. Oh, what love! What amazing love! that brought the Son of God to earth to be made sin for us, that we might be reconciled to God, and elevated to a life with him in his mansions in glory. And oh! what is man that such a price should be paid for his redemption?

When men and women can more fully comprehend the magnitude of the great sacrifice which was made by the Majesty of Heaven in dying in man’s stead, then will the plan of salvation be magnified, and reflections of Calvary will awaken sacred and living emotions in the Christian’s heart. Praises to God and the Lamb will be in their hearts and upon their lips. Pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the hearts that keep fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary. This world will appear of but little value to those who appreciate the great price of man’s redemption.

All the riches of the world are not of sufficient value to redeem one perishing soul. Who can measure the love Christ felt for a lost world, as he hung upon the cross, suffering for the sins of guilty men? This love was immeasurable, infinite. 

Christ has shown that his love was stronger than death. Even when suffering the most fearful conflicts with the powers of darkness, his love for perishing sinners increased. He endured the hidings of his Father’s countenance, until he was led to exclaim in the bitterness of his soul, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” His arm brought salvation. The price was paid to purchase the redemption of man, when, in the last soul-struggle, the blessed words were uttered, which seemed to resound through creation, “It is finished.”

Many who profess to be Christians become excited over worldly enterprises, and their interest is awakened for new and exciting amusements, while they are cold-hearted, and appear as if frozen in the cause of God. But here is a theme, poor formalist, which is of sufficient importance to excite you. Eternal interests are here involved. The scenes of Calvary call for the deepest emotions. Upon this subject you will be excusable if you manifest enthusiasm. That Christ, so excellent, so innocent, should suffer such a painful death, bearing the weight of the sins of the world, our thoughts and imaginations can never fully reach, so that we can comprehend the length, the breadth, the height, and the depth, of such amazing love. The contemplation of the matchless love of the Saviour, should fill and absorb the mind, touch and melt the soul, refine and elevate the affections, and completely transform the whole character. The language of the apostle is, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” And we may look toward Calvary, and also exclaim, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Considering at what an immense cost our salvation has been purchased, what will be the portion of those who neglect so great salvation? What will be the punishment of those who profess to be followers of Christ, yet fail to bow in humble obedience to the claims of their Redeemer, and who do not take the cross, as humble disciples of Christ!

Some have limited views of the atonement. They think that Christ suffered only a small portion of the penalty of the law of God, and that while the wrath of God was felt by his dear Son, they suppose that he had, through all his painful sufferings, the evidence of his Father’s love and acceptance, and that the portals of the tomb before him were illuminated with bright hope. Here is a great mistake. Christ’s keenest anguish was a sense of his Father’s displeasure. His mental agony because of this was of such intensity that man can have but faint conception of it.

With many the history of the humiliation and sacrifice of our divine Lord does not stir the soul and affect the life any more, nor awaken deeper interest, than to read of the death of the martyrs of Jesus. Many have suffered death by slow tortures. Others have suffered death by crucifixion. In what does the death of God’s dear Son differ from these? It is true he died upon the cross a most cruel death; yet others for his dear sake have suffered equally, as far as bodily torture is concerned. Why, then, was the suffering of Christ more dreadful than that of other persons who have yielded their lives for his sake? If the sufferings of Christ consisted in physical pain alone, then his death was no more painful than that of some of the martyrs.

But bodily pain was only a small part of the agony of God’s dear Son. The sins of the world were upon him, and also the sense of his Father’s wrath as he suffered the penalty of the law. It was these that crushed his divine soul. It was the hiding of his Father’s face, a sense that his own dear Father had forsaken him, which brought despair. The separation that sin makes between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness. He had not one ray of light to brighten the future. And he was struggling with the power of Satan, who was declaring that Christ was in his hands, and that he was superior in strength to the Son of God, that God had disowned his Son, and that he was no longer in the favor of God any more than himself. If he was indeed still in favor with God, why need he die? God could save him from death.

Christ yielded not in the least degree to the torturing foe, even in his bitterest anguish. Legions of evil angels were all about the Son of God, yet the holy angels were bidden not to break their ranks and engage in conflict with the taunting, reviling foe. Heavenly angels were not permitted to minister unto the anguished spirit of the Son of God. It was in this terrible hour of darkness, the face of his Father hidden, legions of evil angels enshrouding him, the sins of the world upon him, that the words were wrenched from his lips, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

We should take larger, broader, and deeper views of the life, sufferings, and death of God’s dear Son. When the atonement is viewed correctly, the salvation of souls will be felt to be of infinite value. In comparison with the worth of everlasting life everything else sinks into insignificance. But how have the counsels of this loving Saviour been despised by many. The heart’s devotions have been to the world, and selfish interests have closed the door against the Son of God. Hollow hypocrisy and pride, selfishness and gain, envy, malice, and passion, have so filled the hearts of many that Christ can have no room.

He was eternally rich, “yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” He was clothed with light and glory, surrounded with hosts of heavenly angels awaiting to execute his commands. Yet he put on our nature, and came to sojourn among sinful men. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” Here is love that no language can express. Our souls should be enlivened, elevated, and enraptured with the theme of the love of the Father and the Son. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” The followers of Christ should learn here to reflect back in some degree that mysterious love, preparatory to joining all the redeemed in ascribing “Blessings, and honor, and glory, and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”

Jenny @ 5:55 pm
August 14, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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(Continued.)

     had often resorted to with his for and . They were all well acquainted with this retreat. Even knew where to lead the murderous throng, that he might Jesus into their hands. Never before had the visited the spot with his heart so full of . It was not bodily from which the shrank, and which wrung from his lips in the presence of his disciples these mournful words: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto .” “Tarry ye here,” said he, “and watch with me.” He was bowed to the earth with mental anguish, and in an agony he prayed to his . He felt the of , and the against the violators of his .

was amazed with the horror of which enclosed him. The of were almost overpowering. These words, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” were borne upon the sympathizing air, to his disciples, in tones of startling agony. The sins of a lost world were upon him, and a sense of his Father’s anger in consequence of sin was crushing him. He arose from his prostrate position, and, yearning for the sympathy of his disciples, he came to them and found them sleeping. He roused Peter and said to him, “Simon, sleepest thou?” What, couldest not thou, who so recently was willing to go with me to prison and to death, watch with thy suffering Master one hour? “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” At the most important time, the disciples were found sleeping. It was the very time when Jesus had made a special request for them to watch with him. He knew that terrible temptations were before his disciples. He took them with him, that they might be a strength to him, and that the events they should witness that night, and the lessons of instruction they should receive, might be indelibly printed upon their memories. This was necessary that they might be strengthened for the test just before them.

But instead of watching with Christ, they were burdened with sorrow, and fell asleep. Even the ardent Peter was asleep, who, only a few hours before, had declared that he would suffer, and, if need be, die for his Lord. At the most critical moment, when the Son of God was in need of their sympathy and heartfelt prayers, they were found asleep. They lost much by thus sleeping. Our Saviour designed to fortify them for the severe test of their faith to which they would soon be subjected. If they had spent that mournful period in watching with the dear Saviour and in prayer to God, Peter would not have been left to his own feeble strength, to deny his Lord. We can have but faint conception of the inexpressible anguish of God’s dear Son in Gethsemane, as he realized the separation from his Father in consequence of bearing man’s sin. The divine Son of God was fainting, dying. The Father sent an angel from his presence to strengthen the divine sufferer. Could mortals view the amazement and sorrow of the angels as they watched in silent grief the Father separating his beams of light, love, and glory, from his Son, they would better understand how offensive is sin in his sight. As the Son of God in the garden of Gethsemane bowed in the attitude of prayer, the agony of his spirit forced from his pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded him. The sins of the world were upon him. He was suffering in man’s stead, as a transgressor of his Father’s law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from his vision, and he was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In the agony of his soul he lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing his Father’s frown. The cup of suffering Christ had taken from the lips of guilty man, and proposed to drink it himself, and, in its place, give to man the cup of blessing. The wrath that would have fallen upon man, was now falling upon Christ.

The disciples roused from their slumber to find their Master standing over them in a state of mental and bodily anguish such as they never before had witnessed. They saw the grief and agony of his pale face, and the bloody sweat upon his brow, for “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” The disciples were grieved that they had fallen asleep, so that they could not pray and sympathize with their suffering Lord. They were speechless with sorrow and surprise.

The suffering Son of God leaves his disciples, for the power of darkness rushes upon him with an irresistible force which bows him to the earth. He prays as before, and pours out the burden of his soul with stronger crying and tears. His soul was pressed with such agony as no human being could endure and live. The sins of the world were upon him. He felt that he was separated from his Father’s love; for upon him rested the curse because of sin. Christ knew that it would be difficult for man to feel the grievousness of sin, and that close contact and familiarity with sin would so blunt his moral sensibility, that sin would not appear so dangerous to him, and so exceedingly offensive in the sight of God. He knew that but few would take pleasure in righteousness, and accept of that salvation which, at infinite cost, he made it possible for them to obtain. While this load of sin was upon Christ, unrealized, and unrepented of by man, doubts rent his soul in regard to his oneness with his Father.

In this fearful hour of trial Christ’s human nature longed even for the sympathy of his disciples. A second time he rose from the earth and went to them and found them sleeping. This was not a deep sleep. They were in a drowse. They had a limited sense of their Lord’s suffering and anguish. In tenderness Jesus stood for a moment bending over them, and regarding them with mingled feelings of love and pity. In these sleeping disciples he sees a representation of a sleeping church. When they should be watching, they are asleep.

“Watch ye, therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” The church of God is required to fulfill her night-watch, however perilous, and whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by his own example, to the source of their strength in times of need, distress and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. But this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world, and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.

How cruel it was for the disciples to permit sleep to close their eyes, and slumber to chain their senses, while their divine Lord was enduring such inexpressible mental anguish. If they had remained watching, they would not have lost their faith as they beheld the Son of God dying upon the cross. This important night-watch should have been signalized by noble mental struggles and prayers which would have brought them strength to witness the terrible agony of the Son of God. It would have prepared them, as they should behold his sufferings upon the cross, to understand something of the nature of the overpowering anguish which he endured in the garden of Gethsemane. And they would have been better able to recall the words he had spoken to them in reference to his sufferings, death, and resurrection; and amid the gloom of that trying hour some rays of hope would have lighted up the darkness, and sustained their faith.

Christ had told them before that these things would take place; but they did not understand him. The scene of his sufferings was to be a fiery ordeal to his disciples, hence the necessity of watchfulness and prayer. Their faith needed to be sustained by an unseen strength, as they should experience the triumph of the powers of darkness. He knew the power which the prince of darkness used to paralyze the senses of his disciples at this time when they should be watching. At this crisis, when they would meet with a great loss, they are found asleep. Again the powers of darkness press upon him with renewed force, bowing him to the earth. He leaves his disciples with a determination to conquer the prince of darkness, that man may not be held in chains of hopeless despair. Giving his disciples one look of the tenderest compassion he left them and bowed a third time in prayer, using the same words as before. The divine sufferer shuddered with amazement at this mysterious and terrible conflict.

Human minds cannot conceive of the insupportable anguish which tortured the soul of our Redeemer. The holy Son of God had no sins or griefs of his own to bear. He was bearing the griefs of others, for on him was laid the iniquities of us all. Through divine sympathy he connects himself to man, and submits as the representative of the race to be treated as a transgressor. He looks into the abyss of woe opened for us by our sins, and proposes to bridge the gulf with his own person. Those who cannot see the force of the sacred claims of God’s law cannot have a clear and definite understanding of the atonement.

It was soul-anguish that wrenched from the lips of God’s dear Son these mournful words: “Now is my soul troubled,–my soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” Christ’s soul was bearing a weight of anguish because of the transgression of God’s law. He was overwhelmed with horror and consternation at the fearful work sin had wrought. His burden of guilt was so great because of man’s transgression of his Father’s law, that human nature was inadequate to bear it. His inexpressible anguish forced from his pores large drops of blood, which fell upon the ground and moistened the sods of Gethsemane.

The sufferings of martyrs can bear no comparison with the sufferings of Christ. The divine presence was with them, in their physical sufferings. There was the hiding of the Father’s face from his dear Son. Humanity staggered and trembled in that trying hour. It was anguish of soul beyond the endurance of finite nature. It was woe condensed that brought from the trembling lips of the noble sufferer these words: “Now is my soul troubled.” “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Again from his pale lips are heard these words: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” The awful moment had come which was to decide the destiny of the world. Angels are waiting and watching with intense interest.

The fate of the world is trembling in the balance. The Son of God may even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. He may wipe the blood sweat from his brow, and leave the world to perish in their iniquity Will the Son of the infinite God drink the cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the curse of God to save the guilty? It was here the mysterious cup trembled in his hand, and the destiny of a ruined world was balanced. The world’s Redeemer sees that the transgressors of his Father’s law must perish under his displeasure. He sees the power of sin and the utter helplessness of man to save himself.

The woes and lamentations of a doomed world come up before him, and his decision is made. He will save man at any cost of himself. He has accepted his baptism of blood, that perishing millions through him might gain everlasting life. He left the heavenly courts where all was purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world which had fallen by transgression. He will not leave man in his sins. He will reach to the very depths of misery to rescue him. The sleeping disciples see not that their beloved Teacher is fainting. He falls to the earth, and is dying. Where are his disciples to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their suffering Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? Our Saviour trod the wine-press alone and of all the people there was none with him.

Christ suffered not alone. Saith he, “I and my Father are one.” God suffered with his Son. The sacrifice that an infinite God has made in giving up his Son to reproach and agony, cannot be comprehended by man. In giving his Son for the sins of the world, God has evidenced his boundless love to man. The angels who had learned to do Christ’s will in Heaven, were anxious to comfort him. But what can they do? Such sorrow, such agony, is beyond their power to alleviate. They have never felt the sins of a ruined world, and with astonishment they behold the object of their adoration subject to grief. Although the Father does not remove the cup from the trembling hand and pale lips of his Son, he sends an angel to give him strength to drink it. The angel raises the Son of God from the cold ground, and brings him messages of love from his Father. He is strengthened and fortified. He has the assurance that he is gaining eternal joy for all who will accept redemption.
                           (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 5:45 pm
August 7, 1879 The Sufferings of Christ
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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.” And his matchless love manifested toward , in the gift of his , amazed . “For so loved the world that he gave his , that whosoever on him should not , but have .” He was ’s “appointed of all things, by whom also he made .” He was the “brightness of his , and the express image of his person.” And he upheld “all things by the word of his .” He possessed excellence and greatness. It pleased that in him all fullness should dwell. And “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Yet he “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a , and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto , even the death of the .”

The consented to die in the ’s stead, that man might, by a life of obedience, escape the penalty of the law of God. His death did not slay the law, lessen its holy claims, nor detract from its sacred dignity. The death of Christ proclaimed the justice of his Father’s law in punishing the transgressor, in that he consented to suffer the penalty in order to save fallen man from its curse. The death of God’s beloved Son on the cross shows the immutability of God’s law. His death magnifies the law and makes it honorable, and gives evidence of its changeless character. From his own lips is heard, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The death of the divine Son justified the claims of the divine law. In order to more fully realize the value of redemption, it is necessary to understand what it cost. In consequence of limited views of the sufferings of the divine Son of God, many place a low estimate upon the great work of the atonement.

The plan of redemption, embracing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, was first preached to Adam. It was to him the star of hope, lighting up the dark and dreaded future. Adam saw that Christ was the only door of hope through which he could enter and have life. The plan of saving sinners through Christ alone was the same in the days of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and every successive generation of those who lived before the advent of Christ, as it is in our day. The patriarchs, prophets, and all the holy martyrs from righteous Abel, looked forward to a coming Saviour, in whom they showed their faith by sacrificial offerings. At the crucifixion the typical system of sacrifices was done away by the great antitypical offering. The sacrifice of beasts shadowed forth the sinless offering of God’s dear Son, and pointed forward to his death upon the cross. But at the crucifixion type met antitype, and the typical system there ceased; but not one jot or tittle of the moral code was abrogated at the death of Christ.

The Son of God is the center of the great plan of redemption, which unit plan covers all dispensations. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” He is the Redeemer of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam in all the ages of human probation. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Christ is the substance or body which cast its shadow back into former dispensations. And when Christ died the shadow ceased. The transgression of the moral code made the shadowy system necessary. And at the death of Christ, which event had been shadowed forth by the blood of beasts from the time of Adam, these offerings, and not the law of God, the violation of which had made them necessary, was abolished.

The gospel preached to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses was to them good news; for their faith embraced a coming Saviour. A more clear and glorious light now shines upon the Christian world; for in the Jewish age the cross cast its shadow away back to the time when Adam left his Eden home. That which was faith to the ancients, who lived before Christ, is assurance to us, as we see that Christ has come, as foretold by the prophets. It is as essential, no more so, and no less, that we have faith in a Redeemer who has come and died our sacrifice, as it was for the ancients to believe in a Redeemer to come, whom they represented by their typical sacrifices.

The Son of God, in becoming man’s substitute, and bearing the curse which should fall upon man, has pledged himself in behalf of the race to maintain the sacred claims and exalted honor of his Father’s law. His work and mission was to convince men of sin, which is the transgression of that law, and through the divine mediation, bring them back to obedience to his perfect law. The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through his mediatorial work he may completely vindicate the binding claims and the holiness of every principle of his law.

After Christ was baptized of John in Jordan, he came up out of the water, and bowing upon the banks of the river, he prayed with fervency to his Heavenly Father for strength to endure the conflict with the prince of darkness in which he was about to engage. The heavens were opened to his prayer and the light of God’s glory, brighter than the sun at noonday, came from the throne of the Eternal, and, assuming the form of a dove with the appearance of burnished gold, encircled the Son of God, while the clear voice from the excellent glory was heard in terrible majesty, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Here was the assurance to the Son of God that his Father accepted the fallen race through their representative, and that he had granted them a second trial. The communication between Heaven and earth, between God and man, which had been broken by the fall of Adam, was resumed. He who knew no sin, became sin for the race, that his righteousness might be imputed to man. Through the perfection of Christ’s character, man was elevated in the scale of moral value with God; and through the merits of Christ, finite man was linked to the Infinite. Thus the gulf which sin had made was bridged by the world’s Redeemer.

But few have a true sense of the great privileges which Christ gained for man by thus opening Heaven before him. The Son of God was then the representative of our race; and the special power and glory which the Majesty of Heaven conferred upon him, and his words of approval, are the surest pledge of his love and good will to man. As Christ’s intercessions in our behalf were heard, the evidence was given to man that God will accept our prayers in our own behalf through the name of Jesus. The continued, earnest prayer of faith will bring us light and strength to withstand the fiercest assaults of Satan.

The light and strength of one day to the Christian will not be sufficient for the trials and conflicts of the next. Satan is now constantly changing his temptations, as he did with Christ. Every day we may be placed in new positions, and may have new and unexpected temptations. We may as consistently expect to be sustained on the morrow by food eaten today, as to depend upon present light and present blessings for future strength. Weak and sinful man cannot be safe unless God shall daily manifest his light and impart to him his strength.

It is of the highest importance that God manifest his will to us in the daily concerns of life; for the most important results frequently depend upon small occurrences. The more we become acquainted with God through his divine light, the more sensible shall we become of our weaknesses, and that we cannot live without him. We should ever feel that we need a sure guide to direct our faltering steps.

The life of a living Christian is a life of living prayer. The path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The Christian’s life is one of progression. He goes forward from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory, receiving from Heaven the light which Christ, at infinite cost to himself, made it possible for man to obtain. The Christian cannot let his light shine properly unless he receives an increase of the divine illumination, corresponding with his growth in the knowledge of Bible truths. The strength and glory from the accessible Heavens will qualify him to meet the new temptations and bear the heavier responsibilities which are ever before him. Untried scenes await the Christian. New dangers surround him. And unexpected temptations constantly assail him. Our great Leader points us to the open Heavens as the only source of light and strength.

After his baptism, the Son of God entered the dreary wilderness, there to be tempted by the devil. For nearly six weeks he endured the agonies of hunger. For forty days he ate and drank nothing. This made his suffering greater than anything which man would ever be called to endure. Christ was bearing the guilt of the transgressor. He realized the power of appetite upon man; and in behalf of sinful man, he bore the closest test possible upon that point. Here a victory was gained which few can appreciate. The controlling power of depraved appetite, and the grievous sin of indulging it, can only be understood by length of the fast which our Saviour endured that he might break its power.

Satan had gained the victory over man in almost every temptation on the point of appetite. The Son of God saw that man could not of himself overcome this powerful temptation and he had such infinite love for the race that he left the royal courts of Heaven, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that with his long human arm he might reach to the very depths of human woe, while with his divine arm he grasps the Infinite. He came to earth to unite his divine power with our human efforts, that through the strength and moral power which he imparts, we may overcome in our own behalf. Oh! what matchless condescension for the King of glory to come down to this world to endure the pangs of hunger and the fierce temptations of a wily foe, that he might gain an infinite victory for man. Here is love without a parallel. Yet this great condescension is but dimly comprehended by those for whom it was made.

It was not the gnawing pangs of hunger alone which made the sufferings of our Redeemer so inexpressibly severe. It was the sense of guilt which had resulted from the indulgence of appetite that had brought such terrible woe into the world, which pressed so heavily upon his divine soul. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

With man’s nature, and the terrible weight of his sins pressing upon him, our Redeemer withstood the power of Satan upon this great leading temptation, which imperils the souls of men. If man should overcome this temptation, he could conquer on every other point.

Intemperance lies at the foundation of all the moral evils known to man. Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. The fall of our first parents was caused by the indulgence of appetite. In redemption, the denial of appetite is the first work of Christ. What amazing love has Christ manifested in coming into the world to bear our sins and infirmities, and to tread the path of suffering, that he might show us by his life of spotless merit how we should walk, and overcome as he had overcome, and that we might become reconciled to God.

As the human was upon Christ, he felt his need of strength from his Father. He had select places of prayer. He loved the solitude of the mountain in which to hold communion with his Father in Heaven. In this exercise he was strengthened for the duties and trials of the day. Our Saviour identifies himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that he becomes a suppliant, a nightly petitioner, seeking from his Father fresh supplies of strength, to come forth invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not possessing like passions. As the sinless One, his nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul, in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the divine support and comfort which his Father was ready to impart to his Son, who had left the joys of Heaven and chosen his home, for the benefit of man, in a cold and thankless world. Christ found joy and comfort in communion with his Father. Here he could unburden his sorrows that were crushing him. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.

Through the day he labored earnestly to save men from destruction. He healed the sick, he comforted the mourning, and brought cheerfulness and hope to the despairing. He brought the dead to life. After his work was finished for the day, he went forth, evening after evening, away from the confusion of the city, and his form was bowed in some retired place, in supplication to his Father. At times the bright beams of the moon shone upon his bowed form. And then again the clouds and darkness shut away all light. The dew and frost of night rested upon his head and beard while in the attitude of a suppliant. He frequently continued his petitions through the entire night. If the Saviour of men, with his divine strength, felt the need of prayer in our behalf, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer–fervent, constant prayer on their own account! When Christ was the most fiercely beset by temptation, he ate nothing. He committed himself to God, and through earnest prayer, and perfect submission to the will of his Father, came off conqueror.

“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord.” Our tables are frequently spread with luxuries not healthful nor necessary, because we love these things more than we love freedom from disease and a sound mind. Jesus sought earnestly for strength from his Father. This the divine Son of God considered of more value even for himself than to sit at the most luxurious table. He has given us evidence that prayer is essential to us in order to receive strength to contend with the powers of darkness, and to do the work allotted us to perform. Our own strength is weakness, but that which God gives will make every one who obtains it more than conqueror.
                         (To be Continued.)

Jenny @ 10:54 am