The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
February 28, 1878 Never Yield the Sabbath.
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

We are in receipt of a number of from different individuals, who are in our , asking advice upon the matter of keeping the . In their cases, the injunction of the apparently conflicts with their ideas of or necessity in other respects. One in particular is in much of mind as to her . She is the support of her aged , and could easily maintain them in if she pursued her work upon the . She therefore asks if the is not as binding upon her as the fourth, and that if, in keeping the latter, she should fall short, in her estimation, of the requirements of the fifth commandment, would she not be justified in disregarding the fourth? We deeply sympathize with these tried ones in their perplexity and distress, and have endeavored to write a few words of and to them and others who are under similar .

We would say to all who are thus in regard to their duty, Upon no consideration are you excusable in violating the fourth commandment. It is no violation of the Sabbath to perform works of necessity, as ministering to the sick or aged, and relieving distress. Such works are in perfect harmony with the . was ever active upon the Sabbath, when the necessities of the and came before him. The Pharisees, because of this, accused him of , as do many today who are in opposition to the . But we say, Let God be , and every man a who dares make this against the .

Jesus answered the accusation of thus, “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have and not , ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” He had already declared to them that he had kept his . When he was accused of in the matter of the , he turned upon his with the question, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” In summing up his answer to the questioning of the Pharisees he said, “Wherefore it is to do well on the Sabbath days.” Here Christ justified his work as in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. Ministers who profess to be embassadors of Christ, yet assert that he did not regard the Sabbath day, and thus endeavor to justify themselves in disregarding it, make the same accusation against Christ as did the Pharisees. They certainly select poor company in those caviling Jews who persecuted the .

It may not be convenient for you and many others to keep the Sabbath day holy by refraining from worldly business; but God has not left this matter to our choice; we are not at liberty to mold our principles according to our circumstances. His requirements are positive; they are, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not; “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work,” etc.

The fifth commandment is sacred; but if you should transgress any of the first four precepts of the decalogue, wherein is revealed the duty of man to his Creator, you would not be in a favorable position for the sacred observance of the last six commandments which specify the duties of man to his fellow man. To break any one of the commandments which specify the duty of man to God is to violate the principles of the entire law. The pen of inspiration records that he who offends in one point is guilty of offense in all. Thus, should the Sabbath of the fourth commandment be disregarded, and man prove recreant to the claims of God upon him, will this disobedience prepare him to fulfill the requirements of the law which specifies his duty to his earthly parents? Will his heart be fitted through transgression of a plain precept of Jehovah upon the first table of stone, to keep the first precept on the second table. We are required, by this commandment, to honor our parents, and we are unnatural children if we do not obey this precept. But if love and reverence are due our earthly parents how much more is reverence and love due our heavenly Parent.

We take the position that the fifth commandment is binding upon the son and daughter, although they may be old and gray-headed. However high or humble their station in life they will never rise above or fall below their obligation to obey the fifth precept of the decalogue, that commands them to honor their father and mother. Solomon, the wisest and most exalted monarch that ever sat upon an earthly throne, has given us an example of filial love and reverence. He was surrounded by his courtly train, consisting of the wisest sages and counselors, yet, when visited by his mother, he laid aside all the customary ceremonies attending the approach of a subject to an oriental monarch. The mighty king, in the presence of his mother, was only her son. His royalty was laid aside, as he rose from his throne and bowed before her. He then seated her on his throne, at his right hand.

Those who have been taught to obey and honor their earthly parents will the more readily yield to the claims of their heavenly Parent, and honor the Creator of man and of the world. The fifth commandment is the only one of the six to which a promise is annexed: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” This carries us forward to the period when the saints shall possess the kingdom under the whole heavens, in the renewed earth.

Special blessings are also promised to those who honor and keep holy the day which God has sanctified and blessed; and, in giving us the ten commandments, our wise and merciful Father has not enjoined their observance upon us, and yet made it necessary that, in keeping one, we should break another of those holy precepts. If the requirements of parents from their children involves their breaking the law of God, there should be no question in regard to duty. God’s claims are imperative. The son or daughter should respectfully say to the parent, I love and honor you, my earthly parents; but I love and fear God more. His commands must be obeyed at any cost to myself. In thus standing true to principle the child does not dishonor his parents in the Bible sense. The purity and firmness of his principles may be the means of bringing unbelieving parents to realize the high claims which God has upon them. Should this be the case will he not have shown in the fullest sense that he has attained the Bible standard of honoring his parents?

Should he fail in bringing the parents he loves to acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment, still the child has met the requirements of God if he has faithfully done his duty, in meekness and love, to his parents; if he has shown them the utmost respect, caring for them in temporal things, as well as spiritual, yet remained firm in his adherence to the commands of God, notwithstanding their opposition. There is no more effectual way of proving our obedience to the fifth commandment, than that of manifesting our reverence for all God’s holy laws.

Sacrilegious minds and hearts have thought they were mighty enough to change the times and laws of Jehovah; but, safe in the archives of heaven, in the ark of God, are the original commandments, written upon the two tables of stone. No potentate of earth has power to draw forth those tables from their sacred hiding-place beneath the mercy-seat. The fourth precept of the decalogue remains unchanged, holding the same claims upon man, as when the ten commandments were thundered, amid smoke and flame, from the holy mount.

We observe the equity of God’s requirements in the fourth commandment: “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” The Sovereign of heaven and earth gives us six days for our own use, and reserves only one for himself, and upon that he places his blessing, and sanctifies it. He requires man to sacredly observe that day, not using it for his own worldly advantage or pleasure. It is the tribute God requires men to render him for the benefits he has given them.

We should spend a portion of the Sabbath in religious meditation, and in considering the blessings and wonders of God in his created works, manifested alike amid the rugged mountain scenery, where mountain top rises above mountain top, where terrible ravines, and rocks broken apart by the earthquakes, and the lightnings, bear the unmistakable marks of One who has trodden the mountains in his anger; and in the softer aspect of nature, where the lofty trees, the babbling brooks, the green grass and tinted flowers express the love of the Infinite God. When we behold rugged mountains, the lesson of Sinai should be repeated to us, and we should contemplate that scene when Jehovah spake his law in the hearing of all the vast army of Israel.

The foundation of the Sabbath was laid in Eden, and it is to be perpetuated through all time and eternity. The sin of Adam caused his expulsion from Eden. Fearful indeed was the curse pronounced upon the transgressor of the law of God. While we deplore the sin and fall of Adam, let us beware of following his example of disobedience. Thank God that the Sabbath institution was not included in the blessings lost with Eden. That sacred institution does not rest upon vain speculation; the authority and evidence sustaining it are strong and irresistible; Infidelity may assail it, yet it remains incontrovertible.

God in mercy has sent light and messages of warning to the world in reference to his law which has been trampled upon. There is a people who reverence and fear God, and who respond to his messages of warning, who repent of their transgression of the law of God, and, through faith in the merits of Christ, receive pardon for their transgression. God, through his prophet commends, and gives precious promises to those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord: “And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”

The prophet here refers to the breach made in the law of God, by the breaking down of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. This precept has been made waste by the man of sin; and the professed Christian world has accepted a day which he has substituted for the sanctified Sabbath of the Lord. Shall we be of the number who are repairing the breach made in the law of God? or shall we be of the number who receive the mark of the beast, by observing the human institution rather than the divine, thus nourishing the child of papacy?

We do not write thus because we suppose you ignorant of the evidences of the Sabbath, and the binding claims of the entire law of God; but we desire to refresh your minds, that you may become established in the present truth.

Those who have accepted unpopular truth have always been obliged to make great sacrifices. Persecution has fallen heavily upon some. We have the lives of the apostles as our ensamples; but above all we have the life of Christ our great Exemplar presented before us. The beloved disciple tells us he was banished to the isle of Patmos, “For the word of God, for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” While on that desolate island, to his unspeakable joy, his dear Master and Lord stood before him, the very one with whom he had walked and talked when they were together in the world, upon whose bosom he had learned, whose great heart of love had beat beneath the pressure of his head, whose sufferings he had witnessed, and whose visage had been marred more than the sons of men.

The Saviour was revealed to John, not in his humiliation, but in his majesty, as he now is, and as he will be revealed when he shall come in his glory. John saw not a Saviour on the cross, not a man of sorrows, but the glorified Son of God, clothed in a garment of light, and girded with a golden girdle. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet like brass when it gleams in a furnace. The sound of his voice was like the sound of many waters; and his countenance shone like the sun in its noon-day splendor.

The world may not appreciate our faith; they may laugh and sneer at our peculiarities of belief; we may be derided for not following the customs of the world. The word of God declares that the world knows us not, because it knew him not. But when Christ comes to earth again he will appear glorious as John saw him to be; and we have the precious promise that “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” We must look away from the difficulties of our present position, and fasten our eyes on the glories of our heavenly home, taking courage at the prospect of that bright future when we shall see Christ as he is, and be made like unto him.

John found in his solitude and exile that the Lord had not forgotten him. From this we may learn that God is a shield and helper in every emergency, to those who believe and trust in him. When surrounded by difficulties, dangers, and discouragements, we must not yield faith and principle, but cherish every precious ray of light granted us, and be true to our God given responsibilities.

You who are perplexed and afflicted, look up and be encouraged. Commit your ways in faith to the sympathizing Redeemer. He has identified his interests with yours, and is afflicted in your affliction. He will help you bear your burdens. Never give up the Sabbath. Hold fast the sanctified day, and the promises which God has attached to its observance. Is it reasonable to suppose that God would make you more prosperous in transgressing his law than in rendering cheerful obedience to it? How easily could his hand hedge up the way which Satan now presents to you in such a flattering light. God promises his Israel that if they will keep his statutes and his laws he will bless them in their houses, in their fields and in all their undertakings; but if they disobey his holy statutes his curse will fall upon them. May God help you to understand that he who feeds and cares for the ravens will not forget his children.

Jenny @ 3:59 pm
January 31, 1878 The Duty of Christians.
Filed under: EG White Articles

 By Mrs. E. G. White.

[A sermon preached in Battle Creek, Mich., June 19, 1877, and phonographically reported.] 
“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 
Here is a promise to us on condition of obedience. If we will come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean he will receive us. Here are the conditions of our acceptance with God. We have something to do ourselves. Here is a work for us. We are to show our separation from the world. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. It is impossible for us to be friends of the world and yet be in union with Christ. But what does this mean: to be friends of the world? It is to unite hands with them, to enjoy what they enjoy, to love that which they love, to seek for pleasure, to seek for gratification, to follow our own inclinations. We do not in following inclination have our affections upon God; we are loving and serving ourselves. But here is a grand promise: “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” Separate from what? The inclinations of the world, their tastes, their habits; the fashions, the pride, and the customs of the world. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you.” In making this move, in showing that we are not in harmony with the world, the promise of God is ours. He does not say perhaps I will receive you; but, “I will receive you.” It is a positive promise. You have a surety that you will be accepted of God. Then in separating from the world you connect yourself with God; you become a member of the royal family; you become sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; you are children of the heavenly King; adopted into his family, and have a hold from above; united with the infinite God whose arm moves the world. What an exalted privilege is this to be thus favored, thus honored of God; to be called sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. It is incomprehensible; but still with all these promises and encouragements there are many who question and hesitate. They are in an undecided position. They seem to think that if they were to become Christians, there would be a mountain of responsibilities to be borne in religious duties and Christian obligations. There is a mountain of responsibility, a life-time of watchfulness, of battling with their own inclinations, with their own wills, with their own desires, with their own pleasures; and as they look at it, it seems like an impossibility for them to take the step, to decide that they will be children of God, servants of the Most High. 
By this I am reminded of an incident I once read, of an aged gentleman who had been broken down by hard labor yet was seeking some employment by which he could obtain means. A nobleman who had a hundred cords of wood to cut, was informed of the wish of the old gentleman. He told him that if he would cut the wood he should have one hundred dollars for the job. But the old gentleman replied, No, he could never do that. It was impossible. He was an old man, and not able to undertake such a job. “Well,” said the nobleman, “we will make a different bargain. Can you cut one cord today? if so, I will give one dollar.” The bargain was made, and the cord of wood was cut that day. “Now,” said the nobleman, “you may cut another cord tomorrow;” and another cord was cut the next day; and thus the whole job was accomplished. In one hundred days the work was completed, and the laborer was in just as good health as when he commenced the work. He could take it cord by cord, but when presented to him in one large job the accomplishment of it seemed impossible. 
This well represents the cases of many who are undecided. They have a desire to be Christians, yet the responsibilities of a Christian life seem so great to them that they fear they will make a failure, are almost certain they can never reach the mark if they make the attempt. But when it is taken into consideration that it is not for them to see the end of the Christian’s journey; it is not for them to comprehend and accomplish it at once. Only one day at a time with its burdens and responsibilities is presented to us. Yes, dear friends, dear youth, tomorrow is not yours. It is the duties of today that you are to perform. If you resolve to be on the Lord’s side, and come out from among the world, and be separate, and choose to be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, to leave the ranks of the enemy, the service of sin and of Satan, make up your mind to always do present duty. Take hold of the duties of today, realizing that the Lord has claims upon you, that you are responsible to your Creator; these claims are to be met only a day at a time. In the strength of God take hold believing that you can overcome for that one day. That day must be commenced with watchfulness and prayer. Learn to give your heart’s best affections to God. Signify in noble work and in your conversation that you love your heavenly Father. Let him apportion to you your work.
The Christian life is a battle and a march. It is to work for today and not for tomorrow. It is to do the duties of today; it is, when you rise in the morning, to think, now I am wholly dependent upon God, and I will ask him to take care of me; and when I ask him to take care of me today, I believe that he will do so. I will lay my burden of care, and my troubles at the feet of Jesus, and he will gather them up. You must trust in his love; and if he has given you a small work, take that up, and do it today; and if you have been faithful in doing that little work today, tomorrow you will be capable of bearing a greater responsibility, and of doing a greater work; and he will give you a greater work and responsibility to bear on the morrow. 
To every one there is given talents of influence; and how many have an unconscious influence which is daily exerted on those around us. If this influence is saving, if it is gathering with Christ, in the day of final accounts it will tell to our advantage; but if we are exerting an influence which leads souls from God, from the truth, a scattering influence which separates from God, and heaven, we are paving the way, the broad way that leads to death. 
There are only two roads; one leads to heaven, the other to death and hell. Every one has a work to do. Every one of us, that have reasoning powers, knows that there is a God. As we look at the heavens above, upon the earth beneath with its stately trees, shrubs and every opening bud and blooming flower we know there is a God, a Creator. The glories of the moon and stars in the firmament, the clouds tinted with gold and silver, and the heavens spanned with the beautiful rainbow, speak to us of the goodness, mercy and love of God. All these things are evidences of his care for us. He loves us, oh! so dearly. That love is incomprehensible. It is as high as the heavens, and as broad as the world. A love that is immeasurable. This love that we can trace in every cloud, in every tree, shrub, and vernal branch, in everything our eyes behold, is seeking a place in our hearts. God is love; and oh! what love he has revealed to us in giving his Son to die for us. How can we be indifferent to the claims God has upon us? How can we devote our God-given time, the hours of probation granted us here in which to prepare for a higher and immortal life, to thinking of ourselves, of our appearance, in allowing pride to take possession of our hearts when we consider the infinite price that has been paid for our redemption?
We want an arm to lean upon in the hours of affliction that can sustain. We want such an arm to rely upon when the earth shall reel to and fro, and be removed as a cottage. We want to know then that God is our father, that our life is hid with Christ in God. Every one of you need this assurance. The students at our school need this assurance. Some will soon return to their homes. How many of them have come to this school without a hope in Christ? How many have given their hearts to him since they have been attending our college? How many are still in a position of indecision, sometimes inclined to be wholly on the Lord’s side, and then again draw back for the very reasons I have mentioned, the responsibilities and duties devolving upon the Christian? These seem so great that they hesitate and remain undecided. 
But how many of you, should another year roll round from today, will be alive? Many may be snatched away in a few months. Here was one of your number, Brother Morrison, who came here to attend our college and become able to enter the gospel ministry, and a few weeks has ended his career in this life. Only a few weeks and you followed him to his grave in Oakhill cemetery, there to rest until the morning of the resurrection. 
How long is the extent of your life? Who of you have the assurance that you will live until the next term of school? How many of you have any surety of your life? But if you had a life-time before you, if you knew that you should live your three-score years and ten, what is that little span of life? Is it too much for you to give to God? What do you give to him? What does he require? Does he require you to give anything that is for your interest or happiness to retain? Oh no. What are the claims that God has upon you? It is, my son, or my daughter, give me thine heart. It is to come out from among the world, and to be separate, “and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you.” Who is the “I?” It is the great “I AM;” he who holds the worlds in his hands; he who gives you life, and gives you health. “And I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” Oh what a relationship is this! How can any feel as though they were making a sacrifice, to be adopted into the family of the King of kings; the Lord who reigns in the heavens; know you not that it is the highest exaltation to become children of God, “sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty?” 
Ever since I was eleven years old I have been in the service of this heavenly King. I can speak from experience. He has asked me to give him nothing that was for my best interest to retain. Precious Jesus; precious Saviour; I love him; and I love his service. Oh! that my poor name can be registered in the Lamb’s book of life. Let it stand there; let it be honored among the holy angels; let it remain there when this earth shall pass away; and when the King of kings shall come in his majesty, and in his glory, to take his faithful ones to himself, oh, let my name then be among the ransomed. Let it be among the names of those who shall have the crown of glory upon their brows. Let me have a home with the dear Redeemer, and with an immortal tongue, praise him. Upward to God is the soul’s adoration. Oh, glorious prospect, to be among the ransomed in the kingdom of glory. 
But here we have duties to perform. God has given us our work. There are none of us who should feel because we do not have a great work to do, that there is no special responsibility resting upon us. Dear friends, it is your duty to do the little things right in your pathway, to fulfill your part in the college where you are, and among your associates; and to speak a word for your Master wherever you are; it is to put away vanity; it is to put away frivolity; it is to overcome pride; it is to put away selfishness, and to seek earnestly for the meekness of Christ. 
Jesus left his majesty, his glory, and high command, and came to our earth, suffered for our sins, and for our sake became poor. He died that you, through his poverty might be made rich. He was a man of sorrows, and was acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. When such an infinite price has been paid for us, shall we shrink at the thought, that perhaps we shall not devote so much time to personal adornment, to dress and to display? Shall we shrink at the idea that we must devote our time, our hearts, and our holiest affections to God? 
I inquire of you again, what does he ask you to give? He asks you to give to him a sin-polluted soul, that he may wash it with his own blood; that he may cleanse it; that he may refine, elevate, and ennoble it; and at last, that you may enjoy the society of the heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. You must put away pride and selfishness. Do you hesitate to yield your selfishness? Will it make you happy to retain it? The most unhappy persons in the world are those who are selfish, and filled with pride and vanity. It is these things you are to give up. Let it be the language of your heart, “I will give myself to thee just as I am. I will come just now.” But some say, “I am afraid I shall not live a Christian life.” And for fear that you will not live a Christian life you are not going to make an effort.
Can you not venture out upon the promises of God? Christ has said not a sparrow falleth to the ground without the notice of your heavenly Father; and even the hairs of your head are numbered. Now, will not he that is able to do this, help you when you ask him to give you grace that you may follow in the path of obedience? Will he not give you that strength, that wisdom, and knowledge that shall lead you to follow in his footsteps? 
You are seeking to obtain an education. How many of you who are before me may have it laid upon you to be embassadors for Christ, called to point souls to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world? How many of you will bear the burdens, and responsibilities as ministers of the gospel? You must render an account to God for the talents he has given you. Are you going to devote these talents, your ability, to God? If not, your education will only sink you lower at last; because you are gaining more and more knowledge, and you are not putting that knowledge to a good account. You are perverting it. But God is able to do great things for you. He says, “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” Come out from among the world; let not your aspirations be for the things of this world; for there is something higher after which you may aspire; there are higher attainments which demand your attention. The things of this world perish, are corruptible, and pass away, but there are things that will never perish, things that are eternal; and for these you may aspire. You cannot be loving the things of this world, and taking hold upon God and heaven at the same time. Are you afraid that if you become Christians, the world will look upon you with derision? Do you fear their taunts and their jeers? Jesus bore it before you; he, “who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” He who created the world, our Redeemer, our Saviour, bore it before you. 
But what if you should have all the honor and the applause that the world could give you, what then? Let disease take hold of your mortal frames, can this honor and applause, and the praise of men relieve you of one pang? Can it relieve you of one distress? Can it be of the least advantage to you in healing you of your maladies? It cannot. But what does the Father say? “I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty.” He will connect you with himself, crown you with glory and honor, immortality and eternal life. This honor, that you can seek for with a surety of obtaining, will never perish. Do you seek gold, the riches of this world? We read that the streets of the city are paved with pure gold, and that the gates of the city are of gold set with pearls. The riches obtained here may be consumed. There are many ways in which you may be robbed of your earthly treasure. Christ says: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” There no thief shall approach; no moth or rust shall corrupt. Thus, if you lay up your treasures there, you will have an imperishable treasure which you can be in no danger of losing. 
And now I would say to these, my friends, I have the deepest interest that you should give your hearts to God; that you may be strong in the cause of serving him. You need him for your friend, he will be a friend, indeed. You may come to your earthly friends with burdens; they may sympathize with you, but cannot relieve you; but here is a friend to whom you may come with your troubles and trials who is always ready not only to sympathize with you, but to bear your burdens. He knows all the difficulties of the way, for he has passed through them; and he is touched with the feelings of your infirmities. This great High Priest, who is in the heavens, is pleading in you behalf. He loves you; and when you come to him with your griefs, your sorrows, and your troubles he will listen to you. He will hear your prayers, and answer your petitions. When you pour out your heart before him, then his great heart of love is opened to you, and he will be touched with your griefs and your sorrows. And now I would inquire of the young here tonight, How many want Christ as their Saviour, and their Redeemer? How many want to make a decided move to live for God? How many of the youth who have attended our school, or any here who have backslidden from God, want to renew their covenant with him, want to yield their pride, and to get rid of their selfishness? How many will come to their Saviour this very evening? “Behold I stand at the door,” says Christ, “and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Gracious invitation! Jesus is at the door seeking admittance. Will you open to him? Will you let him take possession of your heart? Will you give him your affections? 
Now, I wish to say to the youths, and to any who want to start to serve God; here at this very meeting say: I will give myself to God; I will leave the paths of sin, and I will try to be a Christian. Let those who have backslidden, and have not the evidence that they are the children of God, come forward, and we will unite with you in presenting your cases before God in prayer. We want the deep movings of the Spirit of God. We want you to take Jesus with you as you go to your homes. We want you to have a knowledge of Christ, and come to him. We want you to give your hearts to the Lord, and serve and obey him.

Jenny @ 10:21 pm